Why should you care about systems and systems thinking? What does this have to do with your work, or even with our lives?
Very simply, we can only successfully resolve the urgent, critical, complex economic, social and environmental issues we all face today if we take a systems approach. It is by far the best way to understand emerging opportunities, risks, and options.
Systems are amazing entities where their whole is greater than the sum of its components. System components influence, catalyze, interact with each other, and more, often in complex ways, and influence almost everything we do.
Most often, people talk about systems thinking as an “add-on” skill, one to be learned on top of the normal way we think. We’re normally taught to think in cause and effect, that is find the cause so we can manage the effect. That’s not quite how things work though. Systems thinking is actually the natural way people think and linear thinking is actually the learned add-on.
Because awareness systems as a core practice is not yet a typical process for addressing critical issues in general and sustainability in particular, we think it’s helpful to briefly explore systems approach and systems thinking and why they are so critically important today.