Systems Thinking

26th May 2022

I think of everything in terms of systems. Whether it's an organisation, a technical architecture or a family holiday. Let's start with a family holiday. The places we want to go are in different areas. We want to visit lots of places when we're on holiday so we need efficiency. So a little pre planning means we visit things that are grouped in those areas. Many people will say this is obvious, and it is.

Getting to the airport, covid tests (yep, still!), baggage drop and security are all component parts with timings, contingencies and planning required. The you think of these in terms of related parts and systems the better the outcome. To check in, we needed negative covid tests. We didn't need our baggage for testing. So on parking, we went to take the tests and in the 40 min wait time for the results, it's easy to go back, get the baggage and come back to the terminal. It keeps the kids occupied and uses dead time. Plus we didn't have a lot of baggage with us in the testing queue or when doing tests, it was so much easier. Again a simple example? It didn't seem the case to me as no one else was without baggage!

Take this a step further and this is how I think about both OSF and our customer's businesses. I have a great curiosity and need to understand the system they operate. How do the reporting lines work? What teams work well together? Why? What's the next evolution of this system? Where is the friction in the machine? All of these questions are constant. The most successful customer relationships I have are those where they spend time to help with this curiosity. I can be more effective as a result.

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