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People Analytics Podcast – Alec Levenson: Systems Thinking for a High-Performance Organisation | TPAP022

Alec Levenson of the University of Southern California joins the People Analytics Podcast - a series of lively conversations with leading practitioners, thought leaders and tech pioneers from a variety of backgrounds from around the globe.


Alec Levenson - Senior Research Scientist and Economist, University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business, Center for Effective Organizations

Tucana Global

Max Blumberg - Visiting Professor, University of Leeds Business School; Founder, Blumberg Partnership

leeds university business school

Find more episodes of the Tucana People Analytics Podcast - including live interviews recorded at People analytics World 2017 in London last April.

Episode 22: Systems Thinking for a High-Performance Organisation

Max Blumberg speaks again with Alec Levenson about the strategic mindset that's needed for an organisation to work as an efficient whole.

HR's position in business strategy is the subject of much discussion, as is the ongoing challenges in connecting the traditional people-centric culture of HR with the financial and operational culture of other areas of the organisation.

In reality, there should be no disconnect at all. The underlying problem that leads to the siloed mentality - in all departments, not just HR - is a lack of Systems Thinking.

The result is a situation where the various parts of the organisation work often in opposing directions, and the organisation as a whole suffers from this inefficiency. Alec's recent work has been around promoting this Systems mindset, and the enormous performance benefits that it can yield.

In this week's episode, they discuss:

  • The concept of Systems Thinking
  • The interconnectedness of disparate functions in an organisation
  • The challenges for leadership in HR as much as wider business in tuning into this connectedness
  • An overview of Alec's masterclass, and what people will learn from it
  • The Hospital Analogy, and some practical advice on how to reassess how your organisation thinks.
  • Moving from an unconscious collection of parts to a conscious, holistic system.