I had a unique opportunity the other day with a client to do a little year end reflection about the path we have walked with a complex multi-stakeholder change process, which has featured a dive into systems thinking thanks to IISC friend David Peter Stroh. David was actually the one who put the question out there, “What have you gained as a result of adopting a systems thinking lens?” Here is some of what came up in terms of gleanings and appreciation:
- The importance of asking the question, “Why?” beyond, “What happened?” or, “What’s happening?”
- The complexity underlying what otherwise may seem like complicated issues.
- The system is not “out there.” The system is us!
- The importance of not mistaking symptoms for the disease.
- Underlying systemic outcomes are stories and mindsets that keep existing structures in place.
- Someone is always benefitting, at least in the short term, from existing systemic arrangements.
- The whole notion of leverage points as places to intervene in a system.
Very much looking forward to continuing to apply and build upon these in the new year!