4 Laws of System Thinking to Become a Better Decision-Maker

The art of understanding the dynamics of nature lies in system thinking. So what exactly is the system thinking and why is it making the stir among business leaders? It provides you with a better grasp of the wider issue, and how your company can solve it. When it comes to problem-solving at work, the leaders use a systematic approach that guides them in building a good policy. It is the ability to understand how complex systems work and impact the surroundings.

An American engineer William Edward narrated that 94% of problems are systems-driven in businesses, and the remaining 6% are people-driven. A business is a hierarchy of systems that are all linked in one way or the other. Since systems and connections are not always obvious. Rather than focusing on one problem, system thinking helps you highlight the big picture.

Let’s dive right in to analyze how PeterSenge's fundamental four laws of system thinking help the decision-makers see the invisible.


Today's problems come from yesterday's solution

We often underestimate the gravity of the problem and focus on one paradigm solely. We need to remind ourselves that Buddha had emphasized that “nothing ever exists entirely alone”. Being a business leader you need to find patterns to identify which systems are interconnected and how your policies will influence the loop. This foresighted approach will change your perspective to deal with tasks and ultimately you will become a successful leader. For instance, to cope with the communication barrier, the world came forward with 5G wireless technology but had compromised the fact that the higher frequencies result in worrisome health hazards.

The harder you push, the harder the system pushes back

This is the most common phenomenon observed in businesses and the economic sector. We were of the view that hard work can make us overcome any obstacle, not realizing that we are also simultaneously creating those obstacles. The need is to develop well-intentioned interventions. Trying to implement a plan harder will only yield short-term solutions. A system will always resist change. What you need to do is to prepare a backup plan to balance out the compensative feedback.

The easy way out usually leads back in

People often re-apply the practices they are best at in any circumstances without interpreting the consequences. They like to work in their comfort zone. When something works in one circumstance it surely doesn't guarantee to work for complex purposes. Peter Senge has stressed that sometimes easy solutions are not only ineffective but can be dangerous. The outcome will always be something unusual. The key is to evaluate its repercussions in the long-run, before looking at the instant ways to solve an issue. For instance, when the pandemic arose, people took the easy way out and act as per their emotions rather than logical data.

Faster is slower:

A good decision-maker always has this thing in mind: “a quick fix equals a slow cure”. With non-system thinking dynamics, you can get left behind while trying to respond and behave quickly. As every system has an ideal growth rate. When proposing a business solution to boost productivity make sure that it's within the optimal capacity, else the result would be a collapsed system. Whenever you devise a new strategy, calmly analyze how the change is responding to the situation.

The bottom line

To succeed in businesses and become better decision-makers, we need to adopt these fruitful laws of system thinking. A little foresightedness and cautious actions can save us from future disruptions. The interconnectedness of the system shall never be taken for granted. Your entire effort can be thrown off by one wrong judgment.