Observation as a Critical Element in Creating the Conditions for Change

My Creating the Conditions for Change work started in 2011 when I used the viable system model for my own professional development in an Open University course. It was then that I realised the versatility of the principles and ideas of the model. You don’t have to use it as a model to be followed to give you a ‘perfect’ system. In fact, I don’t believe that works. Situations are too nuanced for that. It takes for you to consider and use multiple approaches, models, methods and concepts to engage with complex situations. I use the ideas and principles more like a framework for understanding. I believe it is important to understand what you might be seeing around you, so that you know what moves you can make next when making change. This is how I use the insights that the model gives me. To observe, to understand and to learn.

In 2019 I launched materials to supplement my Creating the Conditions for Change approach which were specifically to help in the facilitation of my workshops. Both my approach and my ways of working have continued to evolve over the years.

In 2021, I updated my materials to give greater emphasis to ‘observation’. Observational skills are critical in my work. When we become distracted by that which is around around us, it can be easy to lose our observational skills. Real-time observation has been a key element of my workshops and interactions, particularly when supporting those focussing on system change. Skilful observation opens up our insights, our creativity and our opportunities for innovation. It can help us to effectively influence and develop relationships. The relationships that are so very critical to our work.

Observing and being able to decode our observations is a critical (and yet often overlooked) skill. So much so that it is central to my approach. Now supplementing my initial kit are additional materials aimed at ‘spotting patterns’. So far, they are bringing a valuable addition to the way I support those engaging with complex situations. Not only have my materials been complimented widely but also my approach and engagement with those I work alongside.

‘Thank you for doing what you do so well and helping to make my job easier’

‘There was so much praise for your workshops. Not just what you did but for your whole approach and delivery’

If you are a group of around 12-15 people and are interested in finding out more, please get in touch: pauline@systemspractitioner.com

Watch out for my new course being advertised soon.

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