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deals with symptoms, longer-lasting,
partial solutions fewer side effects
Systems Thinking has seven primary, far-reaching benefits in Enterprise-Wide Change.
The Benefits of Systems Thinking
1. A framework and way to make sense out of life's complexities, since all living things are systems.
2. A way to learn new things more easily. Its basic rules are simple and consistent—they stay the same from system to system and organization to organization.
3. A better way to integrate new ideas within the systems context.
4. A clearer way to see and understand what is going on in any organization and its environment. Complex problems become easier to understand, as do the interrelationships of parts and multiple cause-and-effect cycles.
5. A new and better way to create strategies, to problem solve, and to make superior decisions while finding leverage points for change, keeping the outcomes (positioning) and goals in mind at all times.
6. A better way to stay focused on outcomes is by using the key Systems Thinking question: . . . What are the desired outcomes? Use this question to begin the discussion about any issue, change, and complex problem you have.
7. Systems Thinking provides a better language and a more complete and holistic way of thinking. Its principles are a camera's wide-angle lens. It gives us a better view on our "radar scope"—a more effective way of thinking, communicating, acting, and achieving superior results.
End with the Beginning in Mind
Many of us can envision ourselves up in a helicopter 5,000 feet above the ground getting a systems view of an enterprise. Now try to envision yourself as an astronaut 260 miles above Earth, floating in space. Only then can we conduct an environmental scan on the largest living system in our world, Earth—the starting point for Enterprise-Wide Change.
When we talk of working ON the system first, we mean having this holistic view of our global economic and Internet village. The importance of global environmental scanning (Phase E) cannot be overstated in Enterprise-Wide Change. It is THE context for building our clarity of purpose (Phase A): our shared ideal future vision, core values, and marketplace positioning.
Once we have worked ON the enterprise as a system, then we can work IN the system, making a "Smart Start" in our Enterprise-Wide Change journey. This requires an intense commitment to simplicity of execution, despite having to deal with the normal complexity inherent in wave after wave of change.
For those 25 percent of enterprises finding simplicity on the far side of complexity and achieving EWC success, their superior results can include dramatically better
• Customer Satisfaction
• Employee Satisfaction
• Shareholder/Owner Satisfaction
• Contribution to Society and Community
The world (Figure 10.1) is in your hands—grab it and run . . . with a System Thinking Approach.
Working on the Enterprise: The Bite-Sized Approach Figure 10.1. The Globe
The Winning Formula
Preparation, discipline, talent, and persistence (with a Systems Thinking framework) is the winning formula for Enterprise-Wide Change.
He who hesitates is not only lost, but miles from the next exit.
Based on your understanding of the Systems Thinking Approach to Enterprise-Wide
Change, list the importance of the new initiatives listed below for achieving business
excellence and superior results for your organization.
H = High: Start within the next six months M = Moderate: Start within the next twelve months L = Low: Start within the next one to three years N/A = Not applicable: No further work needed
Required New Initiatives for Enterprise-Wide Change
1. Define and implement a full Enterprise-Wide Change Vision and Game
Plan (clarity of purpose and simplicity of execution).
2. Develop strategic thinkers among our collective management on a daily
3. Develop strategic thinkers among all employees on a daily basis.
4. Develop a common model (paradigm/framework/mental map) to use for
our organization as a system.
5. Conduct an Enterprise-Wide Business Excellence Assessment (building
on the Baldrige best practices).
6. Conduct a one-agenda strategic thinking day on a critical issue. List
7. New Systems Thinking language becomes a key part of our culture.
8. Identify and install an enterprise-wide resource planning technology
9. Prepare for a rapid and aggressive growth and expansion of revenues
and profits, including possible global expansion.
10. Develop and implement people as a competitive edge through a three-
year business plan for line units, divisions, LOBs, and SBUs.
11. Develop and implement people as a competitive edge through a three-
year people plan for the enterprise (strategic HR plan).
Enterprise-Wide Change. Copyright © 2005 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Reproduced by permission of