Do we focus on people or the systems? What is your take?

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Working within a dysfunctional organization run by old mindsets can be exhausting. To change this, should we focus on the people working within them or the system itself?

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"95% of performance is explained by the system, 5% by people" (Deming, Ackhoff). Of course the "system" is much more than the org chart and includes people's thinking that drives the system's outward manifestations.

So yes: focus on people if by that you mean changing their thinking and shaking up their unsupportable beliefs. But working in people as mostly understood by contemporary managers and their L&D departments (as in "fixing" people through coaching, "upskilling", etc.) won't change anything...


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