All posts tagged: Systems Thinking

Book Cover of Rebel Ideas by Matthew Syed

Book Review: Rebel Ideas by Matthew Syed

Some books leave a mark when you read them, and I genuinely believe this is one of them. In this book, Matthew Syed is able to thoroughly revert a big part of Diversity Thinking moving away from being “a politically correct distraction, an issue of morality and social justice” and transforming it in a central notion for performance and Innovation. Not just in teams and organisations, but for the entire humankind. The book title: Rebel Ideas have immediately attracted me. Since the appearance of Gary Hamel’s book Leading the Revolution, I’ve found a way to reconcile my “rebel mindset” with the work within a large corporation. This book has given me once more a confirmation that I’m on the right path! Through compelling prose, well-sustained scientific research and many examples of really appropriate storytelling, the books examine how Diversity adds value in all of the human contexts, and especially in organisations. The way it demolishes the perception of “individual intelligence” and instead builds that of “collective intelligence” is staggering, and somewhat unsettling. The book moves by examining the concept of homophily, the …

Build your Skills: Systems Thinking

I’ve always been fascinated by pictures of Planet Earth from outer space, especially those at night. You recognise the planet, then the plethora of illuminated cities. The largest ones seem globes of light in the night. Smaller cities look more like bland spots. In some areas, you can also see the main roads connecting the towns. Sometimes you see an isolated light place in the middle of the night. You still own a clear perception of the planet versus the deep black of the outer space. Perceiving this, the whole composed of the parts, as well as the relationship between the components, is System thinking, the critical skill that I will illustrate in this post.  In a recent post, I wrote about the dangers of Thinking in categories. I pointed out that to overcome the limits of categorical Thinking, it is necessary to drive models and tools of what is called “Systems Thinking”. However, it’s not just a question of means: I genuinely believe that Systems Thinking should be seen as a skill, and ability to foster and develop, and that …

The key dangers of Thinking in Categories

In a fascinating article on HBR by the title “The Dangers of Category Thinking”, Bart de Langhe and Philip Fernbach, analyse the critical issues related to thinking in categories in several domains. Humans tend to simplify reality by splitting items into groups, and in its nature, it derives from our capability to survive. Your mind is a categorization machine, busy all the time taking in voluminous amounts of messy data and then simplifying and structuring it so that you can make sense of the world. This is one of the mind’s most important capabilities; it’s incredibly valuable to be able to tell at a glance whether something is a snake or a stick. Bart de Langhe and Philip Fernbach, The Dangers of Category Thinking, HBR Fall 2019 Derek Cabrera further states that, in many ways, categories are useful structures for organising information. “There are many ways in which thinking is an act of classification, so categories are embedded in cognition itself. Because they help us situate and structure information, using categories can make us feel like we …