The Power of Systems Thinking:
How Matthew Kleiman is Revolutionizing Industrial Maintenance and Construction
“Industrial facilities are like the human body,” says Matthew Kleiman, the visionary co-founder and CEO of Cumulus Digital Systems. He’s not just talking about anatomy; he’s advocating a radical shift in how we view and manage industrial operations. Kleiman, a seasoned entrepreneur, executive, investor, and author, isn’t just talking the talk. He’s walking the walk, revolutionizing industrial maintenance and construction through the power of systems thinking.
Forget siloed thinking. Embrace interconnectedness.
That’s the core message of Kleiman’s philosophy. He argues that traditional approaches, focusing on specific tasks without considering their broader impact, are outdated. Instead, he champions viewing facilities as interconnected systems, just like the human body. The physical plant, supply chains, and worker skills—they’re all parts of a complex, interdependent network. Ignoring these connections, Kleiman warns, leads to inefficiency, waste, and even disasters.
COVID-19: The catalyst for change The pandemic ripped the bandage off, exposing the fragility of siloed systems. Supply chain disruptions forced businesses to re-evaluate operations, highlighting the crucial connections between seemingly disparate parts. It was a wake-up call, urging a shift towards holistic thinking.
But integrating systems isn’t a walk in the park.
Though technology has made it easier, knowing where and how to begin remains a challenge. Many companies, Kleiman observes, cling to the outdated notion of being the “source of truth,” resisting integration into broader systems. Data interoperability and clarity are key, he insists. It’s not a one-time fix, but a continuous journey embedded in an organization’s DNA.
The results speak for themselves. Applying aerospace knowledge prevented Deepwater Horizon-esque disasters. Digitalizing pipe assembly slashed leaks in refineries. These are just glimpses of the transformative power of systems thinking. Organizations might consider themselves sophisticated, but manual or analog processes lurk in the shadows, waiting to disrupt the flow. Systems thinking, Kleiman explains, illuminates these blind spots, fostering a holistic perspective that elevates efficiency and safety to new heights.
Kleiman isn’t just preaching from the sidelines. Cumulus Digital Systems, his brainchild born from years of experience, embodies his philosophy. He actively engages with the industry, inviting connections on LinkedIn and sharing his insights in his book, “Work Done Right” (a must-read for any industrial leader seeking systems thinking mastery).
Kleiman’s message is clear: the future of industrial maintenance and construction lies in ditching the silos and embracing the power of interconnectedness. It’s not just about fancy tech; it’s about fundamentally rethinking how we approach our work. As Matthew says, “Systems thinking is the new black. It’s the only way to ensure work is done right, the first time, every time.”
So, are you ready to step into the future? Buckle up, and let systems thinking guide your way.
John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.