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contribution by Claire Graves

The “people factor” is a primary design criterion in our services. This is a natural consequence of our view that the business world is a big game, the rules of which are being developed and played by people. Just like a chess game, people create their strategies based on their thinking and their view of the other “players” thinking. Therefore, understanding people (entrepreneurs, professionals, customers, suppliers, employees or competitors) is a key to form successful strategies.

The methodology we use is a derivative of depth psychology framework for understanding the cores of human thinking. It helps identify the principles of how people change, organize, make choices, create strategies and communicate. It is the methodology of finding the dynamic forces at wok in human affairs; the hidden codes that mold our worldviews and mindsets, form decision structures shaping our relationships with others and define reality.

People, groups, societies, and organizations find value and make choices in different things because they think in different ways. They think in different ways because their human composition, physical neurology and life experiences are different. The same core principles of value systems apply to individuals, corporations, and societies. Those responsible for strategy, whether for internal development or external inter-business relations should look at values in both economic and people terms.

As Fifth Thinking, we believe and factor in two important facts about human behavior:

  1. People, just like systems, have complex structures. However, human behavior operates with certain rules that can be analyzed and managed. Whether to the customers, employees or comtetitors, the companies’ strategies and policies send signals to people who then “sense” and “make sense” of the received information according to how they think. The process results in certain behavior as a response. We can safely say that almost all the results of the business activities are consequences of the interaction between people’s cultural, mental models and company’s strategies and policies. The concept of management, in this context, becomes the management of behaviors. Getting the response that we intended becomes the ultimate test of understanding how people think and make choices and making this understanding a central part of our strategies. Only then, we can develop systemic solutions that address real problems and create changes that endure. 

  2. The behavior of people is an end result and can change according to circumstances. It is not the right path to separate people from the system that they are in because the people-system loop constantly interacts and affects each other.

Though mental and behavioral model analysis, Fifth Thinking brings out the sense and make sense process of the people in relation to their environment before adhering to any type of initiative. Building systems on top of this knowledge creates organizations that fully tap the potential of its people and environment and achieve its long term objectives with no interruption.

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