We all go about things in our own way, right? We’re all individuals expressing ourselves uniquely, and the way we act or react depends greatly on our individual personalities and internal processes and methods.

 Most of the time, let’s say even the vast majority of the time, like 99% of the time, our own way works just fine for us. We get through life—how we interact with others, how we make decisions, how we respond to our social environments—just famously.

However, something important must be acknowledged: If I work in my own way, that means everybody else works in their own way as well! And I simply can’t get through life without other people. Check out a previous blog, Other People, for an in-depth discussion of this blatantly obvious fact.

I’ve discussed interacting with others for benefit in previous blogs. Now I am turning to Deciding and Achieving. What THEE illustrates is that, in general, there are seven basic methods for deciding and achieving. Let’s take a look at the systemicist, from the inside and out.

Inside the Systemicist 

 The world is complex. It is more than facts, it is more than people and groups, it is more than opportunity and plans and authority. It is the past and future and social and physical forces. 

But it is not completely beyond our comprehension. 

To effectively make decisions and achieve, we must take all of these factors into account. We must construct models that address all potential scenarios. A plan on a sheet of paper is simply not enough. We must discover and understand how everything that is relevant to our goals and objectives combines and interacts. 

Only a clear picture of the systems and systems-within-systems will do. Anything else is one-sided, insufficient, and probably useless in the long term. 

Who is This? 

 If this person’s assessment makes sense to you and you agree, you could be a systemicist.

 You are awash in a swirling vortex of complexity. The world is a million things at once and you feel that making sense of it will provide a clear path on which to move forward.

You tend to think more about the long-term and are driven toward balanced, intelligent development of an organization or project. You view your duty as combining countless loose ends into a comprehensive, effective whole.

You are best suited as a strategist or organizational consultant where your all-encompassing view can come in handy for organizations or projects that are stuck or flailing.

Outside the Systemicist 

 If you are reading this and thinking: “This is certainly not me,” you’re right and you would fit nicely into one of the other six decision approaches.

You handle decisions in some other way that you are convinced is generally best. And how you view this preoccupation with problems, facts and best solutions will be dependent on that.

For example:

  • A pragmatist might view the systemicist approach as follows: “That’s way too much work. Opportunities for progress are just out there. Grab one.” 
  • An imaginist might take a look at the systemicist and wonder: “Is there room in your big system for the abstract and mysterious aspects of people and their inner-states, feelings, and aspirations?” 
  • A structuralist might think: “No one even understands you. How are people supposed to do their jobs if they can’t even grasp what their leaders are talking about?” 
It is important to understand that the systemicst approach to deciding and achieving is quite close to reality, which is indeed complex and dynamic. It may be too complex for everyday use, but understanding the systemicist might help you use this approach when it is appropriate—that being long-term planning of a large and complicated project.

Check back next week for the dialectic.

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