Right Thinking & Right Systems

Right thinking refers to the way we perceive our world, the challenges we face, and the roles and responsibilities of ourselves and others. It includes how we react to opportunities, problems and setbacks. Our thinking influences how we approach uncertainty and respond to failure. Right thinking positions us to address current challenges with clarity and purpose.

Right thinking also includes systems thinking – a framework that takes into account the interconnected character of systems and their parts. It is also a way of thinking which uses short feedback loops to assess performance and make adjustments as soon as possible to improve system performance. Right thinking also includes structured problem solving, positioning your organization to move away from gut feel and guess work to fact-driven, validated learning and effective change of the better.

Right systems set up people for success so they can do good work without guessing or making assumptions about what should be done and how it should be accomplished. A system is a process in which people and/or machines perform work using information, technology and other resources to produce products and services for internal or external customers. Typical businesses utilize work systems to engineer new products, acquire materials, produce and deliver products and services, manage data and finances, create reports and manage the workforce. Often these systems are not standardized, vary across the organization and rely on tacit tribal knowledge. This creates high variability of outcomes – especially in quality, time and delivery – and creates unplanned and unpaid rework.

These two disciplines complement each other: right systems drive capable, stable, standardized self-improving systems which in turn reinforce right thinking.