MGMT-8035M – Thinking in Systems

Explain how thinking in systems for leaders and managers might be a benefit to organizations.

Organizations are faced with many dynamics that are associated with the business environment. Management and leadership in an organization can benefit greatly if they adopt systematic thinking to help business cope with the various conditions in the business environment. Thinking in systems will mean that they examine the whole organization and its business processes using a systematic approach. The management will not have to use the traditional forms of detecting anomalies in the organization but will examine the various processes in the organization systematically to determine the beginning of the problem and their possible solutions (Reynolds, 2011). Businesses need valuable information related to the organizational functions to make important decisions. Therefore, in carrying out a systematic approach to the various functions and elements in the organization, they will be better placed to make decisions with concrete information at their disposal.

System dynamics, when applied to management, is thus essential as it ensures that more details about the various affected processes are found out to quicken problem-solving. Therefore, for managers to be effective in their thinking, they should consider adopting a systematic approach to dealing with various problems in organizations and improving on the already running processes. Understanding an organization regarding systems helps the leaders in the organization deal with matters more efficiently than if, they take a mechanical approach (Checkland, 2012). Thinking regarding systems deals with all the processes of the organization and thus gives a bigger picture of how the various processes are related and how they can be modified to increase the efficiency of operations in the company. Thinking about systems will broaden the outlook of leaders and managers in the organization and help them look at the wider picture. Such systematic approaches will further help the company to make predictions that are relevant to the respective business environments. Therefore, thinking systematically helps companies find messes and manage them.

Then, explain the potential limitations of thinking in systems.

Thinking in systems is usually associated with thinking in loops and not in lines. As such, parts of systems primarily involving businesses are related and if one part if affected it affects the other business processes in the organization. Though thinking in systems is effective in some instances, it is second to memory surface thinking as people initiate most of the processes in place. The systems are only used to improve on the already existing systems. The utilization of thinking in systems is usually very expensive though it can in the long lead to better returns for the business. To some businesses, especially those that are small thinking in systems would not be appropriate, as they will take more time for the business owner to review the various business processes in the business (Easterbrook, 2014). Thinking in systems by companies thus complicates simple issues especially if they would have been solved easily by lengthening the processes of dealing with problems and include more issues that would take longer or be costly at that moment.

As a result, thinking in systems usually focusses on the whole business and thus takes more time as stated above which some firms may not have and thus may resort to more traditional methods of solving various problems affecting them (Merali & Allen, 2011). Furthermore, it is a complex process that involves a lot of effort and people, who need to be specialized in dealing with systems and, therefore, the business may have to wait for some time before the final solution is found. Therefore, thinking in systems is potentially beneficial for large organizations since they have the various resources including the time that can be employed to help establish various businesses processes to the benefit of the systems.

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