Thinking in terms of systems and system dynamics is a different way of thinking and perceiving the world. In many ways it is a paradigm shift from the traditional linear, cause and effect, sequential forms of thinking.
Systems thinking focuses on the whole, the behavior of the whole under certain sets of conditions, and the interconnectdness and behavior of the parts to the whole under certain sets of conditions as well. Systems thinking focuses on the underlying structure that underpins causality, outcomes, and feedback loops. It is both quantitative and qualitative in nature and requires synthetic as well as critical thinking.
When the world is viewed from a systems lens, it allows for greater perspective, clarity, and objectivity while everything else fades from view. This objectivity allows one to view the system much like a scientist would conduct an experiment or an engineer would design a bridge. Moreover, one of the most important factors is that systems thinking forces one not to blame, rather it forces one to to think in terms of accountability.
This is important because blame and accountability are not the same thing. Accountability realizes that errors will be made but it focuses on responsibility for one’s actions and to find constructive solutions, whereas blaming is used for shaming. This important distinction transcends all organizations and cultures.
A culture of blame is extraordinarily toxic. But most important is that blaming within a culture creates fear and this fear stifles creativity, innovation, information flows and the ability to take risks. Since innovation depends on risk taking, blaming ultimately hinders productivity. This is why it is imperative to create a foundation and culture that fosters continuous learning and advancement that is underpinned by accountability as this manifests self-actualization and transcendence.
As an aside, there are many instances whereby the system devised needs to be held accountable and changed rather than an individual agent within the system. However, the agents are accountable for allowing a system to be devised or allowed to persist without changing it when it is in their capacity to do so.