During this week’s readings about systems, disruptive technology, and STARS Air Ambulance, I gained a better understanding of how processes can interact with each other. Additionally, as humans, we are programmed through the course of our lives to think in certain patterns. These readings helped to point out such tendencies and reveal alternative “ tools” to tackle problems and understand situations. Most people are familiar with casual, logical, and reductionist thinking, but sometimes a more holistic approach is needed to understand the ecosystem of a given situation. The readings offer many analogies, but one most familiar to me is the financial market system. It is easy to sit in a classroom and learn quantitative metrics. For example, if the price to earnings ratio of a specific company drops to a certain level relative to others in its industry, it may indicate the company is under valued, which may indicate that the price will soon rise (causal thinking). However, this ignores the more holistic approach that needs to look at a variety of perspectives. For example, the Wall Street Journal may have recently reported that this company is being investigated for fraud or has serious liability litigation pending against it. In this example, a thorough analysis of all available information is needed to best gauge expected outcomes and even then, nothing is guaranteed.
In the STARS Air Ambulance case, Sharaz Kahn takes over a poorly run Information Systems office. His first step in correcting the inefficiencies at STARS is to create a map of all information – paper documents, digital documents, service activities, and projects. This allowed Kahn to gain a holistic perspective of the IS department. Additionally, he carefully considered the viewpoints of other department managers as well as those on his own staff. The accumulated perspectives of these stakeholders allowed Kahn to establish the blueprints for a much more efficient Information System than the one previously in place. This system will have a positive impact on every function of STARS, most importantly achieving the company’s core mission of reaching people in need and providing care as fast as possible. This can only be accomplished through the efficient transfer of vital information to key parties accurately and expeditiously. By thinking in different ways, business managers such as Kahn can be at the forefront of innovation, leading to disruptive technology and a “Blue Ocean” strategy of uncontested prosperity.