Full Stack Systems Thinking

Full Stack

I’ve figured out a name for what I do. It’s Full Stack Systems. It’s important to have a name for things, so we can notice them, and can choose to notice them. I’ve borrowed Full Stack from the IT term Full Stack Developer, meaning someone with the skills to program back end and front end systems, and who understands the full delivery model of their work.

Full Stack Systems Thinking looks at the connections between things as much as the things themselves. It looks at patterns, emergence, interconnectedness and other systemic stuff.

Going up the stack

  • Knowing Myself, knowing the patterns I use, the internal dramas I have
  • Understanding the way groups interact at their best and worst, and how they can work in curiosity or contempt
  • Challenging my own and others Theories in Use and Theories in Practice
  • Seeing how groups interact, and the patterns and drama between them
  • Choosing to understand different decision making contexts
  • Being curious, helping and bringing others along
  • Applying theories of organisation to individuals and groups
  • Recognising that behaviours are structurally coupled

I also feel the this also involves

  • Working Visually
  • Choosing to work and share freely with others
  • Always getting more than one perspective
  • Moving towards what is difficult

I’m not the only person doing this, and others already have names for their work. Full Stack works for me.

Full Stack Work is a type of generalist. It’s important to say it’s not better than any sort of speciality. In a given situation it may be more or less appropriate than a specialist approach.

Full Stack Work is slow to learn, it moves on wide front, and it’s always less deep, but more connected. This may be what you need and it’s what I do.

I’m recognising others, specialists and generalists who are along for this ride. Connect on twitter.

3 thoughts on “Full Stack Systems Thinking

  1. Kathryn Streatfield

    Like this piece and this metaphor Mike.

    I’ve had similar thoughts about ‘stacks’ and different combinations of approaches for different types of change.

    Moving further with IT related metaphor- do we have different ‘thinking architectures ‘ for different types of problem-solving? And are there ‘legacy’ thinking architectures that are becoming less useful, and in some cases downright dangerous, for problems in our fast-changing world?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. make10louder Post author

      You’re definitely Full Stack Systems 🙂 Yeah, I think there may be different thinking architectures, but they need to be fluid. Maybe thinking ‘weightings’ – more like this and less like that?



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