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Systems Thinking Strategy: The New Way to Understand Your Business and Drive Performance
by:Jimmy Brown PhD
Why are some organizations more successful than others? Is it better products? Is it a superior service model? Is it some mixture of the two? Is it merely a matter of lining up the products and services to meet the needs of the marketplace at a particular time? Or did they just get lucky? Many business leaders believe that the answer to these questions is...
Why are some organizations more successful than others? Is it better products? Is it a superior service model? Is it some mixture of the two? Is it merely a matter of lining up the products and services to meet the needs of the marketplace at a particular time? Or did they just get lucky? Many business leaders believe that the answer to these questions is a matter of strategy. Find the right strategy and the company is bound to be successful. Unfortunately, too many organizations fail to find that right strategy. The question is why? Do they not go on enough executive retreats? Did they hire the wrong consultants? Were their PowerPoint slides just now powerful enough? While any of these factors could be a contributor, our research shows that the real driver is strategy efforts focusing too much on singular dimensions (e.g., the competition) rather than considering the entire ecosystem. Without a full view of the complete business environment, it is impossible to make fully informed decisions. Without being fully informed, we risk making the wrong choices.The Systems Thinking Strategy addresses this issue by providing a holistic approach that incorporates multiple domains into the strategy discussion. By incorporating systems thinking (e.g., Peter Senge's The Fifth Discipline) into the strategic planning process, we are able to understand how our Capabilities, our Customers, and the Competitive Environment are all interacting and impacting our business success. It then provides an approach to making sense of those disparate data points so that we can make the right decisions to drive business success.
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