Solving with SystemsJan. 22, 2023
When you have a problem, do you solve it with a 1-time solution? or with a system?
- If you find yourself wondering on Monday night what the family will eat for meals this week, you could pick up your phone and order food (a 1-time solution) or you can take a step back and examine your weekly meal strategy.
- If you catch yourself on track to miss another deadline, you could arrange for an extension and bring in extra resources (both 1-time solutions). Or you can look holistically at how you plan your time, use your time, and commit to timelines.
- If you just lost your temper with a colleague or friend, you could shrug it off or apologize (both 1-time solutions). Or you can examine the catalyst that has you become angry, notice the sequence that has you lose composure, and invent a way to break the chain next time.
- If you ate too much at mealtime and now you feel stuffed, you could eat lighter for your next few meals (a 1-time solution), or you can compile a list of circumstances that lead you to overeat, and make a plan to address them.
System changes may not be fast enough to resolve the current situation. But system changes tend to last because:
- We find more effective and efficient options when we consider the broader context, instead of searching for immediate solutions
- System changes help us to think structurally instead of focusing on the specifics of the current issue
- If we improve the system once, we may never need to solve this particular problem again
Put enough attention on this, and you can make a powerful shift: you become the kind of person that solves their problems by adjusting their systems.