Efforts to isolate and identify the root cause of a complex problem without seeing the problem within the context of a larger system often result in short-term fixes that can create additional complexity and future problems. All problems are the result of change. Today's problems may have their roots in changes that occurred weeks or months ago. If we fail to look across an entire system when pursuing the cause of a problem we can mistakenly make a well-intentioned change that we hope will fix the original problem but ultimately causes a new problem in another part of the system--without resolving the original issue.
When this scenario is replicated a few times, we engage in the classic "knob turning" method of problem resolution--reactively trying one fix after another without ever getting to the heart of the issue--or seeing how the system is creating and feeding the more visible problem.
Problems rarely exist in isolation and they cannot be resolved without connecting them with their larger systemic context. Drawing a picture that shows where a problem operates within a larger system is an important step in creating a solution that will resolve the problem and encourage positive momentum toward better performance.