System Thinking
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System Thinking

How many management systems are there in an organisation?

Too often, there are numerous:

  • One for health and safety
  • One for environmental issues
  • One for quality
  • How about IT security, financial?............the list can go on and on and on.

All are characterised by being ineffective and inefficient and often divergent in supporting the overall business objectives.

What about the ever increasing numbers of Standards, Business Models, Frameworks, Governance requirements, Management techniques and Professional disciplines related to different elements of Organisational risk and general business management?

All fighting for recognition and use! Result - chaos, confusion, misuse, complexity! But none are wrong and are all usually equally valid when used appropriately.


In reality, there is only ONE Management System in an organisation. Elements of risk relevant to an Organisation should (but all too often don't!) simply form part of it.

Furthermore, the single Management System is made up of both the hard and soft issues (such as culture, teamwork, leadership and so on) and is a living dynamic, not just documents, maps and procedures. This means that a Management System can never be fully documented (so don't bother trying) and is constantly changing and maturing. 

Without a single process-based Business Management System, it is highly unlikely that an Organisation will achieve or sustain Corporate Social Responsibility/Corporate Governance, or the management of relevant areas of organisational risk in an effective (in terms of management or business outcomes) or cost effective manner.

Disagree? Tell us why and add to the debate.

We call this System Thinking.

System Thinking is an approach that allows any Organisation to be understood and managed as a single entity. It is the Management Approach for the 21st Century - the newly emerging de-facto way of effectively managing organisations in an ever-increasingly complex business environment. 

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