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Who Needs Systems Thinking Anyway? July 30, 2010

Posted by wooddickinson in 7 Habits, Life Coach.
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I look at how people live their lives and when I begin to describe to them the ups and downs they are experiencing either as individuals or in their business they often look at me like I’m psychic.  I’m not.

One thing I do know is life is made up of systems and ignoring that fact or dismissing the idea is a common flaw we all have.  We become very process oriented.  Process is important but when we design a process to use we must be aware of the systems that are being created or systems that are being impacted.

As we live our lives whether we know it or not we are living in sets of constant feed back loops.  Dr. Covey talks about it by using the “SEE – DO – GET” model.  This is a simplistic way of starting the work of systems thinking.  Basically, how we see the world determines what we do, which gets us a certain result that usually reinforces how we see the world.

This is a feedback loop.  When we fill a glass of water we control the inflow of water into the glass, monitor the rising level of water and stop the inflow when we have the water we need.  A feedback loop.  Also a rudimentary system.  We have an inflow of water that creates a “stock” or supply of water in the glass then we have an outflow when we drink it.

This kind of system can be graphed so you can tell when you drink the water at a given rate when you will need more.  Measurement of the system.

In our lives if we would look at the systems that are acting within it we can become much more aware of WHY things go well or go poorly for us.  Same for business.  Using Covey’s see-do-get model we must make sure how we see things is correct.  If our way of viewing the world is flawed we will do things to reinforce that view always getting poor results.

It gets back to the idea that YOU are the creator of your life.  Together we are the creator of our business.  We have to know what it is we want to create.  Once that’s clear then open your eyes to the systems around you that are providing you feedback to change the ones that always end in poor results.  It is how that process comes into play because now you know what processes are important and effective and which ones you need to dump.

This is really very simple stuff.  As I tell my kids, you are the architect.  What do you want to build?  How will you build it?


1 “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Dr. Stephen R Covey

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