Thinking in Systems - Friend or Foe

Gareth Evans
20 January 2020

Systems have formed a significant part of science over many-a-year... scholars such as; Ludwig von Bertalanffy, Peter Checkland, Ross Ashby, Russell Ackoff, Stafford Beer and many more have discussed, debated and placed front and centre the importance of not just thinking 'systemically' but also being, acting and doing 'systemically'.

Many have revealed and evidenced the magic and impact of 'Thinking Systemically' across industry, albeit some have also found it less than accessible for the wider community. What I'm curious to explore: Is 'Systems Thinking' too bound in academic theory to the extent that it is either too widely misunderstood, misinterpreted or just purely too impractical to adopt across a wider field of professional practice due to the levels of understanding and practical wisdom that currently exists. Therefore, Is 'Systems Thinking', a friend or foe?