Systems Thinking in the Public Sector
For the past few years, I have worked at a non-profit legal services provider. When I was reading the article about systems thinking that we were assigned for this class, I couldn’t help but think that although the idea made sense for information systems, it would never work in the some industries (namely in the legal field). Given the experience that I have working with lawyers, I couldn’t picture them ever looking at a problem holistically instead of drilling into the details because they are all very process-thinking oriented.
However, this article kind of served as a counter argument to my thinking. Here are public policymakers that are using systems thinking to integrate economic, social and environmental growth into a single ‘map of development.’ I think it’s cool that they were able to use systems thinking despite the fact that there is probably a significant amount of constraints when writing public policy, including (I’m assuming) a pretty strict budget. This article proves that systems thinking can be applied virtually any industry if you are willing to shift your mindset.