- The Productive Solopreneur
- TPS #50– How to Think Systematically
TPS #50– How to Think Systematically
Read Time: 2 mins 51s
If you’ve ever built anything from the ground up, then you know all the little things that come up every single day.
Wearing all the hats, all the time, solving all the problems.
Instincts & hustle culture will tell us to go piece by piece, tackling one task after another, grinding to get everything done.
And then we inevitably burn out, a tale as old as time.
What's missing is systems thinking - the ability to view everything as interconnected components rather than isolated events.
If only they taught me this in high school.
When you see the world as a set of systems producing outcomes, opportunities start popping up out of nowhere.
Today, I will explain what it means to think in systems and how you can apply this within your business.
Why Systems Thinking Creates Advantage
With a systems mindset, you look at challenges and results through the lens of the whole rather than just the individual parts.
This focus on the relationships between elements in a system helps you understand why certain patterns emerge.
First, it’s understanding the patterns.
Then, reverse engineering them.
Systems thinkers succeed by optimizing entire systems, not just trying to influence single variables.
Which is why I’m a notion builder…
That focuses on operations. It’s the best of both worlds for me.
Seeing how 7 & 8-figure businesses operate and optimizing them gets my blood pumping.
This is how systems thinking changes how you see the world & your business:
Explaining why metrics are trending in a certain direction based on systemic relationships. You spot root causes.
Preventing knee-jerk reactions to isolated issues so you can open your perspective.
Anticipating challenges and outcomes based on system dynamics rather than being caught off guard.
Core Principles of The Systems Mindset
Implementing systems thinking effectively involves mastering 3 key principles:
1. See Connections - Identify relationships between the various components that make up a system. Elements interact and influence each other, directly or indirectly.
2. Focus on Context - Look at the surrounding ecosystem and environment that impacts outcomes rather than just narrow issues or events. Your system exists within a context, and everything is context now.
3. Note Interdependence - Recognize how interconnected parts of a system dynamically interact with and affect each other, often in unexpected ways. The whole is greater than the isolated parts.
With consistent practice, entrepreneurs can train themselves to apply a systems lens to their biggest challenges.
4 Steps to Start Thinking Systematically
Here are tangible steps to build this crucial skill:
1. Map the Full System - Visually diagram the elements that make up a system and their connections. It could be a workflow, organization, market, etc. Make relationships clear.
I use my iPad to draw out the systems I build for clients to fully understand how the system operates.
2. Analyze Behavior Over Time - Look at how your system behaves over days, weeks, and months. The shorter the feedback loop, the quicker the results.
3. Identify Root Causes - Note indirect and non-obvious relationships that drive outcomes. Often, the factor you’re not considering is the root cause.
4. Optimize Holistically - Rather than getting overwhelmed trying to influence every component, look for high-leverage changes across the full system.
Like any skill, systems thinking improves with consistent practice. But the payoff for your entrepreneurial is insane.
Let’s bottom line this:
If you have a problem, You need to develop a system you can repeatedly do to get the results you want.
Point blank, period.
Review, iterate, and improve.
Wash, rinse, repeat.
Okay, I’m getting carried away.
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Rize in action.
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Thank you @conorgallagh + @TheHunterBohm
— Calum (@calumnolan_)
Oct 26, 2023
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PS: Whenever you're ready, here are two-way I can help you: