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Systems Thinking Developing Solutions To Sustainability Challenges

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Question:

Discuss about the Systems thinking Developing Solutions to Sustainability Challenges.
 
 

Answer:

Sustainability challenges hinder the use of balanced approaches of runningbusiness operations as well as economic affairs. Systems thinking plays an important role in the success of an organization by maintaining growth, development, and sustainability in the industry ad business environment (Mingers and White, 2010, p.1150). Managers in different firms have embraced different methods of solving problems. These methods have not provided any notable solutions that can help to solve challenges concerning sustainability. These complex problems have only been addressed through the adoption of systems thinking technique of solving sustainability challenges. After understanding the complex system, a manager has a better opportunity of developing a better solution to address the challenges facing the firm in the industry. Wicked problems such as increasing women’s participation in senior executive roles in Australian corporations have been a distracter to sustainability of companies in different sectors, both the private and public industry and systems thinking remains to be the perfect technique of resolving this issue. Discrimination challenges kind prevent Australia from achieving its full potential and acts as a huge reason behind their failure to develop a critical solutions of solving sustainability challenges.

The essay is based on the agreement that adopting systems thinking helps in coming up with critical solutions that can be used to tackle sustainability challenges, and in particular lack of women participation in development projects. This is because systems thinking concepts have helped  and contributed a lot in integrating and exploring new ideas in other great nations and firms (Nguyen and Bosch, 2013, p.110). These ideas will help the corporation or the nation to be more competitive as they will learn new ways of production which can make their products more improved than before and this will assist them to be able to kick out rival companies out of business. These ideas also help an organization to grow as it will have a larger market for its products and services. This step will enable the firm to command a larger market share, and this will result in more sales which in turn leads to more profit which can be invested in trying to develop critical solutions to sustainability challenges. The purpose of this essay is to show how adopting systems thinking can help to solve problems that may cripple our globe's economy.

 


Rebranding or repackaging has been influenced by systems thinking. This has enabled organizations to create products which are more improved, and this will help to attract more customers. Customer loyalty which is one of the most sought things in business organizations will be achieved. This rebranding helps firms to positions their products in a place that is high position than those of their competitors, and this enables the organization to have more sales which encourage businesses to expand to international markets or even e-commerce so that they can have a market for their products.  This helps organizations to develop solutions that solve sustainability challenges (Nguyen and Bosch, 2013, p.110).

Systems thinking creates a more appealing vision of the future. This helps firms to have a well-defined vision which enables organizations to achieve their clearly set objectives and goals more effectively and efficiently. This vision enables companies to direct all their resources and energy towards the achievement of the well-set goals. According to the many managers I have had contact with, this vision saves the firm a lot of resources as it helps to avoid wastage of resources and the protected resources can be re-invested elsewhere so as to help achieve the main aims of the organisation, hence contributing to solving sustainability challenges (Mai, 2010, p.11 ).

Systems thinking approach helps organizations to understand and solve complex problems. First, systems thinking enables managers to analyze the complex problems and understand their causes so that they may come up with the most efficient methods of solving various problems more efficiently. This will enable the organization to achieve its objectives because the first step towards healing is to understand the problem. By doing so, the managers will be able to develop solutions to sustainable challenges (Mingers and White, 2010, p.1150 ).

 


Systems thinking can help to design new systems. This will help the firm to have more creative and innovative structures for performing various tasks in the organization. This makes production to be more efficient. This in return helps the team to save on consumption of resources. The new systems enable the firm to produce their products and services with minimum wastage which causes the firms to have lower production costs. By achieving lower production costs, the corporation is in a better position to sell its products and services at a lower price. This translates to increased demand for the firm's commodities which aids in avoiding sustainability challenges such as stiff competition (Best and Holmes, 2010, p.150 ).

Systems thinking can help to provide a better way of creating strategies and making sound decisions. These policies and decisions benefit corporations in many nations to come up with very helpful methods of how to tackle sustainability challenges without forgetting to fulfill their core course of existence which is to achieve their goals and objectives. The core missions of many businesses are to create value, control a larger market share, make more profit and the most important one being to increase shareholders value. With the use of systems thinking businesses can achieve these goals and still be able to help develop critical solutions to sustainability challenges (Jackson,2010, p.135 ).

Through the adoption of systems thinking, many organizations will be able to deal well with change. Change is one of the things which cannot be avoided in businesses as it can be caused by various factors. The change may occur due to the following factors which include a shift in tax rates, economic changes and even change of legal regulations and structures. For any business to cope well with these changes, it will have to adopt systems thinking which will enable it to come up with various options and alternatives which can be taken if the business wants to flourish and stay competitive. This helps the firm be able to develop critical solutions to sustainability challenges and promote sustainability development for better economic conditions (Jackson, 2010, p.135 ).

 


Even after agreeing that systems thinking can be of much help when tackling sustainability challenges, it also has few drawbacks which no one in his/her sound mind can fail to notice. One of the drawbacks is that systems thinking concepts are very complicated and comprehensive. This forces its users to seek further training as it only offers many less useful options. It does not provide details on how these many options can be achieved or attained. Failure to provide straight forward solutions forced many corporations to seek other methods of solving this challenge of sustainability which is forcing many nation's economies to be stagnant (Goh, Brown, Spickett, 2010, p.307).

 Systems thinking as a way of providing a solution to sustainable challenges requires a firm to invest a substantial amount of resources in it. In simple words, the cost of adopting systems thinking is unbearable by many states. This is because for systems thinking to work effectively as expected, it requires technological structures to be set up and this is very costly. Many managers fail to possess the needed skills and knowledge to make good use of this systems thinking concepts, and this means they require training which is also very expensive (Flood, 2010,p.180 ). This has caused many organizations to be reluctant in adopting this way of solving sustainability challenges as it may cause them to divert their valuable resources to this systems thinking and this may prevent them from achieving their goals and objectives.

This wicked problem of increasing women participation in senior executive roles in Australian corporations can be addressed by adopting systems thinking. This will enable many companies in Australia and even in other nations to achieve their goal and objectives more efficiently and effective. Women attend same schools as men, and in my opinion, they should not be denied chances of heading large enterprises like men because this is discrimination by gender. Using systems thinking will enable corporations to realize that organizational practices have changed. Courts in Australia have decided to invest more resources in cases that involve women discrimination, and they are working tirelessly to ensure that no single female faces employment discrimination (Davidson and Burke, 2011, p.280). By doing so, many women have been able to assume top seats in many organizations in Australia, and this has enabled them to grow in different ways. This is because many women are more suited to lead some companies better than men can do due to various reasons such as better understanding of the business. Australian NGOs and corporations are also advocating for equal employment opportunities. This has encouraged many women to apply for top jobs in large enterprises and at the end of the day, they end up securing the jobs and do pretty well. This change of organizational practices has enabled many firms to be able to solve some sustainability challenges (Clarke, 2011, p. 500).

 


By embracing systems thinking, many companies will realize that leadership role have evolved and changed. This means that the stereotype that only men can head corporations has changed and no one in his/her right senses can still believe it. This shift has created a more conducive environment where women can pursue their dreams without fear of if they will make it to the top seats. This change in leadership roles has caused many firms to accept the fact that women can also head big corporations and perform like men and even outsmart them. Embracing this change has enabled companies to grow to greater heights and also in a better position to solve sustainability challenges (Davidson and Burke, 2011, p.280).

Embracing systems thinking enables organizations to realize that women have changed in various ways. One of the ways is that women are investing most of their time not in domestic roles but paid labor. This has enabled many women to pursue their dreams which had been shattered by domestic chores. By doing so, women have been able to work in different organizations which have enabled them to gain the relevant experience which is needed to lead big corporations in Australia. This has provided many women with an opportunity to head big firms in Australia as employers have realized that even women have what it takes to propel these big companies so that they can achieve their goals such as sustainability (Branson, 2011, p.793).

In conclusion, systems thinking should be adopted by all managers in all corporations. This is because apart from helping companies understand their complex structures and systems, it also helps in providing alternatives that can help it run more efficiently, help it to be more innovative and creative, help it design new systems and even help it go through the process of change. Systems thinking without no doubt is one of the methods if there is any other that can help corporations be able to develop critical solutions to sustainability challenges.

 

References

Ackoff, R.L., Addison, H.J., Gharajedaghi, J. and Carey, A., 2010. Systems thinking for curious managers: With 40 new management laws. Triarchy Press Limited.

and Action Research, 23(4), pp.269-284.

Best, A. and Holmes, B., 2010. Systems thinking, knowledge and action: towards better models and methods. Evidence & Policy: A Journal of Research, Debate and Practice, 6(2), pp.145-159.

Branson, D.M., 2011. Initiatives to place women on corporate boards of directors-a global snapshot. J. Corp. L., 37, p.793.

Clarke, M., 2011. Advancing women's careers through leadership development programs. Employee Relations, 33(5), pp.498-515.

Davidson, M.J. and Burke, R.J. eds., 2011. Women in management worldwide (Vol. 2). Aldershot: Gower.

Flood, R.L., 2010. The relationship of ‘systems thinking’to action research. Systemic Practice

Galbreath, J., 2011. Are there gender-related influences on corporate sustainability? A study of women on boards of directors. Journal of Management & Organization, 17(01), pp.17-38.

Goh, Y.M., Brown, H., and Spickett, J., 2010. Applying systems thinking concepts in the analysis of major incidents and safety culture. Safety Science, 48(3), pp.302-309.

Jackson, M.C., 2010. Reflections on the development and contribution of critical systems thinking and practice. Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 27(2), pp.133-139.

Kaplan, A.M. and Haenlein, M., 2010. Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media. Business Horizons, 53(1), pp.59-68.

Mai, T.V., 2010, August. Systems thinking approach as a unique tool for sustainable tourism development: A case study in the Cat Ba Biosphere Reserve of Vietnam. In Proceedings of the 54th Annual Meeting of the ISSS-2010, Waterloo, Canada (Vol. 54, No. 1).

Matsa, D.A. and Miller, A.R., 2013. A female style in corporate leadership? Evidence from Quotas. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 5(3), pp.136-69.

Mingers, J. and White, L., 2010. A review of the recent contribution of systems thinking to operational research and management science. European Journal of Operational Research, 207(3), pp.1147-1161.

Nguyen, N.C. and Bosch, O.J., 2013. Systems thinking approach to identify leverage points for sustainability: a case study in the Cat Ba Biosphere Reserve, Vietnam. Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 30(2), pp.104-115.

Nguyen, N.C. and Bosch, O.J., 2013. Systems thinking approach to identify leverage points for sustainability: a case study in the Cat Ba Biosphere Reserve, Vietnam. Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 30(2), pp.104-115.

Swanson, R.C., Cattaneo, A., Bradley, E., Chunharas, S., Atun, R., Abbas, K.M., Katsaliaki, K., Mustafee, N., Meier, B.M. and Best, A., 2012. Rethinking health systems strengthening: key systems thinking tools and strategies for transformational change. Health policy and planning, 27(Suppl 4), pp.iv54-iv61.

White, K., Carvalho, T. and Riordan, S., 2011. Gender, power, and managerialism in universities. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 33(2), pp.179-188.

Wiek, A., Withycombe, L., and Redman, C.L., 2011. Key competencies in sustainability: a reference framework for academic program development. Sustainability Science, 6(2), pp.203-218.

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