A couple of concepts &
an important book.
The well-known phrase “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” is attributed to Aristotle, but may very well be a misquote. (If you are into philosophy of science, you may enjoy reading this elaboration on the matter.) Anyway, systems thinkers embrace this expression warmly; and that´s where I hop in. I unabashedly claim that this concept is what we need to be, and act together in a skilled way. We need every head and heart logged on, so to speak, so that we may navigate the future more resourced resourcefully. The complexity of our times demands it! Navigating our lives toward a desired future, requires exploring and learning from the implications from the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
In the research field of Operations, they use the term betterment, or the science of better – that in a nutshell is the discipline of applying advanced analytical methods to help make better decisions. In this context however, I use the term betterment to relate to humans willingly, and more consciously becoming better versions of ourselves by growing our skills through our inner technology – accessing and expressing more of our essence and power. Consequently we will make better decisions for ourselves, and contribute better in our the relationships systems we are a part of. Being better is described in the concept of Systems Intelligence.
The consept Systems Intelligence (SI) is a new level of intelligence, claims the Finish professors Esa Saarinen and Raimo Hämäläinen in 2004. They have been researching and writing about SI in the academic literature and beyond since. Together with Rachel Jones they wrote the book Being Better Better – Living with Systems Intelligence, 2014. This book focuses on everyday relationship systems we all are a part of, like families, workplaces and communities. They propose eight dimensions aiming to help us reflect and act on how we live in a world of systems; how everything is interrelated. How we sense, think and act impacts every relationship we are a part of, and we are influenced by them in return. Consequently, our system intelligent skills matter greatly. Our abilities and willingness to be better, and act more systems intelligently, may well be the skillset the future demands.
Being Better Better – Living with Systems Intelligence is useful for all systems-workers. It is a wonderfully well-written, and inviting book, (with a gold-mine of a reference section). Being Better… is illustrated in a way that enriches the message and charms the reader. Therefore, I wholeheartedly recommend a deep-dive into this rich concept to reflect and teach yourself and your relationships to scale up your systems intelligent skills. For the authors´ description of systems intelligence, read more here.