How to Think in Systems to Gain Time

By: Eszter C.

This type of reasoning-breaking networks down into a series of purposes is called analytical thinking. With this type of thought process, the system loses its essential properties. It starts to lose function and its role in larger organizations.

Instead of trying to understand the components of a complex system by breaking it down to the micro-level, we should embrace the difficulty of it and observe its place within larger practices. By observing how it fits into more extensive arrangements, we can determine how it operates.

Systems thinking is about zooming out and looking at the world as a web of interconnected interactions within communities. With big-picture reasoning, we can observe and analyze patterns, which in turn, will lead to valuable insights. We can apply these insights to our own lives and optimize how we communicate with the world. Systems thinking will push us to create and solve more meaningful and interesting problems.

Traditional, linear types of intelligence simplify difficult problems into understandable chunks. Conventional methods of thinking assume that by studying the function of the parts in a system, the system’s function will equate to the functionality of the parts.

So, why is thinking is systems of value? It allows us to understand the relationships between components. These associations provide insight and information we would normally have missed. When new characteristics in a system form and work together beyond the core uses, it’s referred to as emergence. For example, hydrogen and oxygen make up water, but neither of them contains the quality of wetness. Wetness only emerges when both components combine and work together.

As humans, when we want to analyze something in our life, we break it down. We categorize our life into specific areas assuming the areas have no relationship with each other. However, that’s not true. It’s time to zoom out and understand our roles in larger systems. It’s the only way we can automate actions and have systems work for us.

Reference: Thinking in Systems

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