TODAY’S PROBLEMS COME FROM YESTERDAY’S THINKING
Albert Einstein is credited with saying, “We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.” This is as true in business as it is in science. Peter Senge (2006) describes this systemic phenomenon as “today’s problems come from yesterday’s solutions” (p. 58). Solutions that attempt to solve the symptomatic cause tend to simply shift the problem from one part of the system to another. For example, imagine a company that finds that its product quality and delivery times are slipping, which results in a loss of sales. To counteract this loss, the company increases customer rebates. However, that countermeasure causes a spike in business that overwhelms its production team, which results in even lower product quality and more delayed deliveries.
As you develop your evaluation, be sure to include specific examples from Senge’s book as well as relevant citations from the Learning Resources, the Walden Library, and/or other appropriate academic sources to support your evaluation.
To prepare for this Assignment:
- Review Chapter 1 and Chapter 4 of Peter Senge’s The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of the Learning Organization and consider his premise that “today’s problems come from yesterday’s solutions” (2006, p. 57).
- Think back through your own work history to identify a situation that illustrates poor systems thinking at a current or former organization. Consider whether managers were applying yesterday’s solutions to a current problem.
Submit an evaluation (excluding title page and references) that addresses the following:
- Briefly describe an organization with which you are familiar (this can be a current or former employer) and the example of poor systems thinking you observed at this organization.
- Assess the core issues that you think led to this systems failure, including whether managers were using “yesterday’s thinking” to solve today’s problem.
- Explain whether there might have been a different or better outcome if managers had understood the principle and the value that systems thinking can bring to an organization’s operations. Justify your explanation.