More Systems Thinking = Less Foxhole Diving

The evidence, information and knowledge (EIK) provision environments in which we work have become more complex. Teams, leaders and objectives change with increasing frequency, expertise isn’t always applied the same way each time, and knowledge formats and flows morph constantly.

Why, then, would we limit our impact by embracing linear models of information service improvement, strategy design and concept implementation? Why would we assume that this tough, game-changing work will be predictable and formulaic?

If we are to expand our role and champion effective EIK delivery, we need to take a fluid approach supported by systems thinking. Systems thinking can help us leverage our skills and creativity, recognize fixes that are apt to fail (thus minimizing diving down the wrong “foxhole” in search of a solution), generate opportunities to innovate, and identify root causes of problems through analysis and solution design.

Let’s prepare for our complex world by engaging in the work of EIK delivery as systems thinkers. Join us for “Systems Thinking in Libraries” at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, 9 June, to gather foundational concepts to begin a dialogue.

Lorri Zipperer, Principal
Zipperer Project Management

Sara Tompson, Manager
Library, Archives & Records Section
Jet Propulsion Laboratory

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