Metis Advisory believes in taking holistic view of the organizations. It practices “Systems Thinking”. This is a management discipline that focusses on understanding the system and sees it as sub-systems or components. It is important to understand the linkages, dynamics or relationships between various components of the system and to understand how do they interact and affect each other and to what extent they affect each other. The system and its components can be broken into basic units of Policies, Processes, Practices and People. Understanding the cause and effect relationships also helps understand how a small change in a sub-system would affect the organization as a whole.

As Peter Senge, author of Fifth Discipline says

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“Systems Thinking is a discipline for seeing wholes rather than parts, for seeing patterns of change rather than static snapshots and for understanding the subtle interconnectedness that gives systems their unique character.”

Some of the examples of factors that could lead to systemic failures would be confused goals, weak system-wide understanding and flawed design e.g. individual incentives that reward individual brilliance and in the process discourage poor cooperation, knowledge sharing, team work etc.

An example

Ambitious Promoters of an automobile component unit. Pressure to grow and increase profits, lead to frequent change in leadership  and added lot of low and high value products to its line. This required frequent changes in tools, increased downtime,  and resulted in a vicious circle of increased waste, reduction in productivity, profitability and hence poor liquidity. At the end of the day, workers were not paid their salaries in time and had to go without increment for a year. All this affected morale of the staff adversely leading to further increase in waste and downtime.