A business – no matter what kind – is a system of systems. A system is “a set of interacting or interdependent components forming an integrated whole” and usually has a defined boundary and a set of inputs and outputs.
What then exactly is a “system of systems?”
A collection of task-oriented or dedicated systems that pool their resources and capabilities together to create a new, more complex system which offers more functionality and performance than simply the sum of the constituent systems.
The most familiar – and least understood – “system of systems” is your body. Most familiar because its, like, your body. Least understood because there are roughly 100 trillion cells in your body organized into a plethora of systems each interacting with many others to create … you!
Each cell, by the way is a system in its own right … composed of systems …
Thankfully, your business is not nearly as complex as that. But it consists of a multitude of systems interacting with each other to create … your business … which spends its time (and your life) interacting with the other businesses and institutions that make up its economic environment.
Business success and profitability are simple, right? Buy low; sell high … or … sell high and then buy low … But buy what? Sell what? At what price(s)? How low? How high? From whom? To whom?
Each answer to each question raises more questions, of course.