Systems Thinking Gleanings

December 21, 2012 Leave a comment

|Image by zachstern||

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!

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