I bet you’ve heard the saying “You can’t see the forest for the trees.” This saying stays true in the so-called “forest thinking” as well. When we analyze the intensive boundaries of a problem, considering every single aspect—or tree—of it, we can lose our focus on what matters. Instead of trying to narrow down if a particular dishwasher stopped working on Sunday afternoon, it’s more useful to see how often the dishwasher breaks down in general, how big the load is when it breaks down compared to the load when it works well, and so on. Forest thinking shows us the “on average” state of a system. To improve your forest thinking skills, try to discover similarities rather than differences—especially when in an organizational setting.

Just because every person has their own strengths, doesn’t mean that they don’t share some attributives—being useful for the company for instance. One person can be terrible at maintaining good relationships with customers but can be exceptionally good at critical thinking. Instead of looking at individual factors, take a look at some central questions like “What is the interaction between the aspects guiding someone’s work morale?”

— The Systems Thinker – Mental Models: Take Control Over Your Thought Patterns. Learn Advanced Decision-Making and Problem-Solving Skills by Albert Rutherford