Are You a Systems Thinker?

businessman205You don’t have to be an engineer in order to contribute in a meaningful way to systems engineering. Using a systems thinking approach can help broaden your perspective and create opportunities that you never knew existed.


Now, let’s find out if you are already a Systems Thinker…


If you have done any of these activities, either through a conscious effort or this is just the way you’ve always done it, you could be a Systems Thinker:

  • Have you ever planned out a family vacation using a spreadsheet?
  • Have you ever planned out the quickest way to go through the grocery store or department store to get everything you need in the shortest amount of time or steps?
  • Have you ever tried to figure out which checkout lane is the shortest, not in number of people in line, but in the time it takes to check out?  Are you upset when you are wrong?
  • Have you ever planned out the shortest way to get across town and avoid the red lights?
  • Do you tend to focus on the structure of a problem and not who’s to blame?
  • Do you find yourself identifying complex cause and effect relationships just for fun?
  • Do you find yourself worrying about things that have not happened yet, but might because they are one of the possible outcomes?
  • Do you ask a lot of “What if?” questions?

These are just some ordinary examples of how systems thinking helps you to deal with simple problems. If you can apply systems thinking to these everyday situations, imagine what you can do if you use your unique skills to apply it to complex problems.


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