Thursday, February 01, 2018

What is one important skill needed to be an effective Systems Thinker ?

Recently someone reached out to ask me specifically about Systems Modelling, and during the discussion, I asked, if he has heard of Systems Thinking? He mentioned that he has an excellent book on Systems Thinking. 
The answer reminded me of humor associated with Continuous Integration(CI). A programmer was asked about CI, and he said, they have Jenkins. The bottomline is, CI is not about Jenkins but a mindset.
Coming back to my original discussion about Systems Thinking, it is not about having a good book or having a lot of knowledge, but the ability to thinking in Systems. 
My observation has been that the essential skill needed to be an effective Systems Thinker is to be vulnerable. 
Being vulnerable to expose one's mental model to the world, and at the same time, the ability to accept the others. As long as one holds on to their mental models as facts rather than observations/perceptions, one will get chained in their mind unable to perceive the complexity involved in the System. 
Exposing the mental model is not easy. Depending on the context and the environment, people could ridicule, question your mental models. The bonus skill needed is, the ability to handle such situations and engaging in conversation refining your mental model to learn more about the System. 
If you are keen to learn more about Systems Thinking in the context of Product Development and its applicability, you can register for my upcoming LeSS course in Melbourne, scheduled next week. Here is the link to register for the course.

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