What do you think in systems

Center for Systemic Thinking

The adjective "systemic" gets a special meaning in connection with "thinking", namely "relating to the essentials of the system". Systemic thinking is an interdisciplinary way of thinking and differs significantly from the subject-specific ways of thinking that are widespread in everyday life, such as B. social or commercial thinking.

Systemic thinking should help to recognize the essentials of a system, such as B. in a situation where you "... can't see the forest for the trees ...". It protects against getting lost in details or clinging to them.

Systemic thinking is largely contrary to narrow-minded thinking.

In systemic thinking, the focus is less on the individual parts of a system (as would be the case with analytical thinking), but rather on the interactions between the various individual parts and on the overall context. Not only the system itself is considered, such as B. the person, the family, the group or the company, but also the interactions with the higher-level systems, such as B. society or the global world.

Another important difference from normal thinking is that more attention is paid to developments than to states.

The ability for systemic thinking is increasingly required in order to better understand highly dynamic systems (such as markets, companies, further education, critical infrastructures) or complex problems (such as marital crises, bullying, allergies, resistance to change in restructuring) and to be able to solve. It has therefore been deliberately maintained for several years in the following professional groups, as well as their associations and further training institutions:

  • Psychologists (systemic individual, couple and family therapy),
  • Educators (systemic teaching and learning, systemic experiential education),
  • Management consultant (systemic leadership, systemic coaching, systemic organizational development).

Each professional group defines systemic thinking individually for its subject-specific concerns. B. Design psychologists only for their psychological case studies. Systemic thinking that is independent of special specialist disciplines is not developed there.

However, one particular trait is mentioned throughout: “Systemic thinking is thinking in larger contexts.