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More insight can change how we interact with systems

Improving Systems and Habits

Scott Miker is the author of several books that describe how to use systems and habits to improve.  This free blog provides articles that to help understand the principles related to building systems.  

More insight can change how we interact with systems

Scott Miker

Have you ever saw a news story and immediately formed an opinion about the situation but then see another story about the same situation and gained completely different information changing your perspective?

I’m sure we have all done this from time to time. It is natural for us to form an opinion before we have all of the information. In fact, we never really have all of the information about a situation.

While this could lead us down a path that talks about deception and misleading news sources, let’s just apply it to how we view systems.

Depending on our perspective, we feel differently about the system. If we work in health care we probably have an inside look at the healthcare system. We probably have ideas about when the healthcare system seems to work and we can identify flaws in the system.

If we don’t work in the healthcare system we probably lose this inside perspective. We probably have come into contact with the healthcare system and form our opinions about the system based on our own interactions and the things we have heard.

In a complex system such as healthcare, it is easy to find faults and form opinions without understanding the full system. We can have a poor experience with a doctor and assume doctors are just out to take your money. We can have a poor experience with an insurance company and feel these companies are worthless and are just around to take your money.

But the reality is that these are just elements of a complicated system. The system has many variables and it isn’t as simple as we tend to think.

If we decide to start researching this system, the more information we gain the more we will likely be able to modify our perspective of the system and how we interact with it.

We can start to see the ins and outs of the system and this can cause us to act differently to make sure we get the most out of it.

But without that additional knowledge we won’t be able to gain the most from the system. We have to learn about the structures, rules and norms and then interact accordingly.

While this may seem like common sense, most people never explore systems in order to improve. Instead of exploring our body and the way we process food and burn calories we simply set out to lose a few pounds from some new diet.

Instead of learning about money and reading about investment strategies we just complain about not having enough money and spend haphazardly.

Instead of learning about leadership roles in our company we assume our current approach and disposition is a perfect fit. Then we get discouraged when we get passed over without ever really diving into why we were passed over so we can make adjustments and improve our chances in the future.

If we can start to dive into these complex systems to learn more, it becomes much easier to change how we interact with the system. We can learn the ins and outs and learn how to align ourselves with the larger systems.

So if you find yourself wanting to improve in some way, make sure you take the time to learn about the existing systems in place. These will likely help you to understand how to get where you want to and what will work.