Systems thinking is about focusing on the interactions of the whole rather than assigning blame to one part or person. There are many branches of systems thinking. The primary types we focus on at LIOS are:
Family Systems Theory
This refers to a body of work by core theorists such as Virginia Satir, Salvadore Minuchin, Murray Bowen, Edwin Friedman, Carl Whitaker, and many more.
Here are some key concepts:
Systems Thinking Related to Work
Systems thinking related to work is about clarity of authority and one's interaction around authority. The work stems from many but perhaps the most important contribution is Kurt Lewin's studies on authority in groups. Combine that with Robert Crosby’s life journey inside organizations, the work of people like Robert Tannenbaum, Warren Schmidt, Darryl Conner and others, and add in family systems theory, then we have a complete way of thinking about how authority works inside organizations and what one has to do to truly align a system to develop clear direction.
Also included here are Macro vs Micro components of any change. Macro is about aligning the system to what is happening and putting in place the support and structures to ensure success. Most organizations do not spend enough time on the Macro components and only focus on Micro (daily tasks to get stuff done).
Systems Thinking In Relationship
Another dimension of systems thinking is focusing on any pattern between people. This could be a husband/wife, a supplier/customer, etc. Awareness of these patterns, especially of the unique ways one interacts within them, helps one understand that almost all of life is co-created. When one gets this, an abundance of possibilities open up in many, if not all, scenarios.