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PCB-Oct2016

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October 2016 • The PCB Magazine 29 This question tests the responder in a cou- ple of ways. First, it gets to the heart of systems thinking and if the responder is a systems think- er. The best answer is systems thinking and tools. Only 10.71% of responders chose this best an- swer while 38.57% chose vision, mission and val- ues. If vision, mission and values do not include systems thinking and tools, it is very difficult to set people or the company up to be successful—or at least optimally successful. Second, although a widely accepted practice, specific job training by a superior is simply wrong. It adds variation to systems mak - ing them less efficient over time. While sexual harass- ment training is important, sexual harassment itself in the workplace is a cultural problem that must be ad- dressed at that higher level before training itself will be effective. Policies and procedures are useful, but usually only in disciplining employees. Instead, build policies and procedures around optimized systems. This question looks at the responder's un- derstanding of systems thinking. There is only one best answer to this question and that is absolutely. You either are a systems thinker or not. If you are a systems thinker, you know it absolutely. If you're not a systems thinker or only on your way to becoming a systems think- er, you will have responded something other than absolutely. Systems thinking is much like learning a foreign language. At first we trans- late the foreign language back into our native thinking to make sense of it. As we progress, we are able to translate more and more back into our native thinking. One day, with ongoing practice, we reach a point where we don't have to trans- late back. We simply think in the foreign language. At that point we are flu- ent. Systems thinking can be a curse in that, when you think in systems, it's often difficult to believe the workplace works at all with all the non-system- atic thinking entrenched within the vast majority of leaders and managers. __________________

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