The Increasing Changes and Complexities within Organizations
Systems Thinking is an analytical approach that is founded on the principle that an entire system can be better understood by looking on the inside rather than on the outside. The rationale behind this theory is that we gain a more appreciable understanding of the system as a whole by identifying with the links that hold the system together. Thinking adheres to the theory that all human conduct is subject to an open system and as a result, the environment around them will affect human behavior. (Banathy 1996)Systems thinkers emphasize the benefits of learning systems rather than advocating change as change can and often results in counterproductive responses within the system. The implementation of a simple feedback loop is desirable because if used effectively it will function to hold the organization together. It will keep it in check, but if it is utilized carelessly, it can knock the organization off balance. ‘The feedback loop is the basic structural element of the systems. Feedback loops are the building blocks of the systems that are linked together to build more complex systems.’(Systems Thinking)The significance of feedback loops is described by Betty Cooper who maintains that as a result of the modern era has changed the way things are done and the way things are viewed. It is no longer possible to simply perform one’s job without reference to what the other employee is doing. She goes on to say, ‘that simplicity of organizational life has vanished, never to be felt by the workforce again. Combine the increased complexity of jobs with almost insurmountable global competition, advancing technology, and the never-ending need to improve performance, and this adds up to a need for change.’ (Cooper)Feedback loops are referred to as causal loops or reinforcing loops and sometimes balancing loops. No matter what term is used to refer to loops the basic concept remains the same.