Systems Thinking is a simple and holistic view of how individuals, teams and organizations work.

Systems Thinking is a way to see the entire entity and its fit with its environment first, and the parts of the entity as secondary. By using the Systems Thinking, it is possible to anticipate many unintended consequences.

First, you must understand what a system is. A system is a set of parts that work together for the overall objective of the whole. Individuals, teams and organizations are all systems. Systems Thinking provides you with a way to see the broad picture, as well as, manage the details of the system.

The Systems Thinking Approach® is shown in the diagram:

The Systems Thinking Approach

The questions associated with each phase are:

  • Phase A: Where do we want to be? (Ideal Future)
  • Phase B: How will we know when we get there? (Measures of Success)
  • Phase C: Where are we now? (Inputs/Current State)
  • Phase D: How do we get there? (Implementation)
  • Phase E: Ongoing: What will or may change in the environment in the future? (External Environment)


Systems Thinking is a different way of thinking that allows us to move beyond looking at the world through a “mechanical model” lens which was created in the Industrial Age to a view that serves our complex, global world.

Systems Thinking is based on the premise that if you change your thinking you will change your behavior and therefore, change your results.

Systems Thinking can be applied to strategic planning, implementing strategy, problem solving, coaching, life planning, departmental planning, communication, leadership development, marketing, employee training, interviewing, team building – as you can see, the list is virtually endless!

For coaching & training in Systems Thinking contact me at