Systems Thinking

I was one of six authors of Systems Thinking, published by the Management Innovation Exchange. You can find the full publication here


Deming and others showed that when you look at the performance of an organisation, about 85% to 95% is due to the system. That leaves roughly only about 10% that is due wholly or in the total control of the person doing the work. How often have you heard people say in their 1:1 appraisal ‘that goal was out of my total control to deliver’.

Deming, John Seddon in Vanguard, Senge, Ackoff, Scholtes, and countless others have demonstrated many times over that:
• you need to get people to begin recognising the organisation as a system;
• understand human motivation (Dan Pink);
• look at the design of the work from the outside in;
• focus on what is the real purpose and what matters to the customer, and
• creating the opportunity and permission to allow people to re-design the work and then getting out of their way!

systems thinking art - Copy