Local government are the systems thinkers and the time to act is now

18 December 2019

Systems thinking  is decidedly in vogue - but many working in local government have been thinking in systems for decades (maybe they just didn’t know it). Now is the time to intentionally embrace this way of thinking: to make the most of the current scarce resources, but given all the political promises, to prepare for when the economic tide turns.

So what is systems thinking? It is an approach that considers the whole, not just the parts, and how those parts interact. In simple systems, these interactions can be predictable. But in local government there is a lot going on, interacting in different ways. This can mean the behaviours and outcomes of a system are not always predictable. Systems thinking can help us consider the unpredictable, and often unintended consequences, of our actions – before we take them.

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