Peter Senge’s book The Fifth Discipline is truly the authority on “systems thinking.” This is a leadership framework used by organizations to improve learning within their system. Senge further develops a strategy on how we can renew our minds to see the dynamic complexity within any given system. Senge defines an element of dynamic complexity within system thinking as “seeing wholes.” (p. 68). He describes that we can develop a framework to seeing interrelationships rather than just “snapshot.” (p. 68). This is why Senge stresses that we renew our thinking on how we perceive the world:
“Perhaps for the first time in history, humankind has the capacity to create far more information than anyone can absorb, to foster far greater interdependency than anyone can manage, and to accelerate change far faster than anyone’s ability to keep pace… organizations break down, despite individual brilliance and innovative ...view middle of the document...
Douglas Hicks wrote that some critics argue that globalization is an incoherent “faddish” term that incorporates too many elements to define (source).
Even if we deny the legitimacy of “globalization” as a clearly defined entity, it is still harder to deny that global interactions are happening which are “significantly reshaping life for many human beings” (source, ibid). Globalization itself is a whole other research topic, attributed to many factors but the outcome of globalization can no longer be ignored (Huntington, 1993). Leadership theories must now adapt to influence an international audience. No longer can leadership be constrained to the local or national levels. If leaders of industry do not evolve to incorporate a global perspective then they simply will not survive this new natural selection of business.
The overwhelming complexity of the global arena can easily paralyze a leader and shatter their confidence (Evidence-Based Management, Emotions and Reason). Having ineffective leaders is obviously counterproductive to any progressive organizations. Senges discipline of systems thinking is a way to counteract the paralyzing complexity of our modern world. Using his approach, leaders can actually train their minds to see the world, its people and our future as a “whole.” (p.69).
In John Nirenberg’s book Global Leadership, he elaborates that global leadership “synthesizes” different management styles, culture studies, communication technology, and social systems. (p. 24). The idea is to blend these elements together to see the big picture. When leaders adapt to the big picture, they produce success in the cross-cultural exchange that takes place in a global society. We can see how this parallels Senge’s view of dynamic complexity. When leaders are trained to “synthesizing” or bringing together the various elements of the global arena, – seeing the wholes – they are more prepared to engage the world successfully and overcome organizational challenges. Thusly, adapting Peter Senge’s systems thinking method of employing dynamic complexity is crucial for success in global leadership practices.