See the Whole – Systems Thinking:
Systems thinking is an old concept that has spawned branches from simulation to systems engineering. However, the systems thinking most needed to develop human systems for regenerating nature is by people.
Human systems thinking often confines the boundary of the system being seen, and often, selects only one of many perspectives from which to see it. For example, a chemist checking for toxic ingredients on children’s finger paintings may never see what doting grandmas interpret as evidence of toddlers’ budding artistry. That old strategic cliche about seeing from a 30,000 foot level means little if one only surveys a few square yards from that distance.
For a company, or any other organization, systems thinking implies doing much more to balance out the needs of all stakeholders, and nature (our commons) is a major stakeholder for everyone. Few organizations have a method for doing that expeditiously when decisions are made; our present systems are not geared for it; we might never think about it. But seeing consequences from multiple views, including nature’s, is a necessity if we are to become symbiotic with nature.
Systems thinking implies much more. It means ability to see your organization from an outside-in perspective, as others might see it. It includes the ability to see yourself as others see you. While no one can completely master systems thinking in all its manifestations, the ability of leadership in particular to stop and think about a much bigger picture than P&L statements is necessary to comprehend the issues in moving from Compression to Regeneration.