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Holistic Thinking in the Workplace

Written By: Melanie Silos


Holistic thinking in the workplace is a method of empowerment for the individual and the business to enhance productivity and business results.


Holistic (systematic) thinking is the consideration of all aspects of life - an awareness of the interdependence of individual units as they relate to the existence of the whole. Through the integrated existence of individual units and their diversities, the whole exists. Systematic thinking considers all aspects of life towards the total wellness of being, including the total health of the body, mind, and spirit. In business and performance, the systematic approach considers the whole integrated system of the company, its work, the workers, and the workplace. It raises the importance and recognition of the individual responsibility and empowerment for the success of the whole.

Aspects of business that create strength of total wellness and optimum performance include the consideration of the work, workers, and the workplace of the business.

  • WORK= INTENT & QUALITY of products or services
  • WORKER= APPLIED EFFORT towards products or services
  • WORKPLACE= SYNERGY & ABILITY through environmental attributes conducive to the production and provision of products and services.


Organizational development is the function of systematically analyzing and assessing the needs of the business for optimum performance, designing, developing, and delivering business and performance solutions, and evaluating the effectiveness of the results. Through a complete analysis with a systematic approach, the needs for business development can be identified and performance solutions can be created.

The following table outlines specific considerations for performance analysis in business operations in which each attribute should support and reinforce the desired results of the business goals and mission. For each attribute relative to the holistic (systematic) considerations of the business, the following questions should be clarified:


  • How does this represent or maintain the desired INTENT and QUALITY of the work, products, and services?
  • What can I do differently today to ensure best possible representation and maintenance of the desired INTENT and QUALITY of the work, products, and services?


  • How do my/our APPLIED EFFORTS represent or maintain the desired results of the business?
  • What can I/we do differently today to ensure best possible representation and maintenance of my APPLIED EFFORTS towards success of the business?


  • How is this/that conducive to the productive SYNERGY or ABILITY of the workplace for production of products and provision of services?
  • What can I/we do differently today to ensure best possible representation and maintenance of the ABILITIES and SYNERGISTIC relations in this workplace, and for its products and services?

  • Methods
  • Products
  • Processes
  • Procedures
  • Performance Requirements
  • Performance Measures
  • Information
  • References & Resources
  • Communications
  • Services
  • Associates/Human Resources
  • Business Partners/Vendors
  • Skills
  • Knowledge
  • Attributes
  • Ability
  • Self-Awareness
  • Motivation
  • Physical & Mental Health/Wellness
  • Vitality/Presence
  • Style/Appearance
  • Management/Policies
  • Location/Environment
  • Colors
  • Sounds
  • Feelings
  • Materials
  • Furniture
  • Equipment & Resources
  • Smells
  • Tastes
  • Customers/Clients/People
Based on principles from Howard Lewis, PhD. Performance Development & Support Systems: Work-Worker-Workplace Holistic Thinking for Performance Improvement.

© 1999 Melanie Silos/New Moon Publishing & Consulting

Copyright 2001 New Moon Publishing & Consulting All rights reserved.
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