Why Systems Thinking?

Systems thinking was an idea formulated and placed in action after an in-depth, informative research by Checkland (1999), Haines (2000), Midgley (2003), and Dangerfield (2014). The research work concluded that systems thinking is a way through which systems experts create problems and generate measures to solve these problems. Moreover, the arguments postulated by these authors claim that systems thinking is a way of seeing the big picture and making sure that it becomes perfect by solving the problems that might prevent excellent end results. Systems thinking influences and predicts the performance of a given system, thus ensuring the sustainability and profitability of an organization. The business world requires systems that have the potential of ensuring that an organization remains sustainable and profitable to ensure growth in the long run. Working with a problem first system guarantees the growth, sustainability, and profitability of an organization.

Systems thinking is a holistic approach that defines how various parts of a methodology work to achieve a desired objective. Through systems thinking, system engineers can balance the system by reinforcing behavior and processes that guarantee success; such behaviors and processes balance the system by negating problems before they occur. Systems thinking relies on feedback, thus adding features that enhance the efficacy of the systems in some instances; the feature can be the addition of more workers to ensure that a task is completed in time.  Diagrams, model systems, computer simulations, and graphs can be used to predict an outcome of a given methodology before employing it in a real-world scenario. Using computer simulations, graphs, system models, and diagrams can enable the adoption of methodology or models that have negligible problems while running, thus ensuring sustainability and continued growth in a given organization.

Since its inception in 1956 by Prof Jay Forrester, systems thinking has enabled the development of different tools that have improved working models’ efficacy in current organizations that use system management models. Among the systems thinking accrued benefits, thinking includes essential optimization, embracing mistakes, three-dimension perspectives, love for problems, and interconnectivity (Roychoudhury et al., 2017). The benefits accrued from system thinking are why system thinking is a new tool to ensure sustainability and growth in modern organizations.

In systems thinking, developers and system managers focus on exploring the interdependence of patterns to find and apply patterns that fit while ignoring the patterns that do not fit perfectly. Additionally, exploring the interdependence and researching patterns ensures that the system operators can get the needed feedback as the system changes with time. An in-depth analysis of results and decisions leading to results is also vital when dealing with systems in areas not limited to but including technology, medicine, politics, human resources, education, and economics.


Checkland, P., 1999. Systems thinking, systems practice: Includes a 30-year retrospective. Chichester: Wiley.

Dangerfield, BC., 2014. Systems thinking and system dynamics: A primer. Wiley Blackwell

Haines, S., 2000. The complete guide to systems thinking and learning. Amherst, Mass.: HRD Press.

Midgley, G., 2003. Systems thinking (Sage library in business and management). London: SAGE.

Roychoudhury, A., Shepardson, D.P., Hirsch, A., Niyogi, D., Mehta, J. and Top, S., 2017. The Need to Introduce System Thinking in Teaching Climate Change. Science Educator25(2), pp.73-81.