According to A Definition of Systems Thinking: A Systems Approach, Systems Thinking is a more synthetic, descriptive and dynamic way of looking at things by using a set of synergistic analytic skills used to improve the capability of identifying and understanding systems, predicting their behaviors, and devising modifications to them in order to produce desired effects while considering all these parts as a whole and broader perspective (Arnold & Wade, 2015) On the other hand, Strategic thinking deals with the analysis of opportunities and problems from a comprehensive look and focuses on making decisions directly towards achieving defined outcomes as a purposive activity (Emran & Zabihnia, 2015)
When looking at the two styles of approach they are similar in that strategic thinking allows for a system thinking approach to happen. However, they are not interchangeable, because Strategic Thinking looks at the types of strategies that can be used to accomplish the set goals and how to reach those goals and the Systems Thinking looks at the overall picture, the cause, and effect of accomplishing the set goals. This overall means they are complementary to each other and not interchangeable. In addition to this, the ability of Strategic thinking to identify gaps, ask questions of where things are, where a person wants to be as a result of things, and the ability of system thinking to look at the whole pictures, the interaction and relationships holistically, makes these two styles different.
A real-world example of the appropriate use of systems thinking approach and the appropriate use of strategic planning approach can be seen through how systems thinking is used for weather modeling and forecasting especially when it comes to issues such as hurricanes and how to prevent them overall and a real-world example of the appropriate use of strategic planning approach can be seen by how The Canadian Soccer Association stating the organization’s visions, missions, and goals and the steps they need to take to reach them for both the men and womens team who both have different goals to achieve overall.