What is my ‘Creating the Conditions for Change’ approach all about?

Creating the Conditions for Change was a strong addition to my systems thinking approach, which I incorporated into my work in 2011. In 2019 I developed materials to help others use the same approach. The materials accompany a workshop describing the approach and where participants get to use it on a case study of a piece of work I actually did. The materials consist of a 20 page A4 booklet, a Systems Thinking Change Wheel infographic and a set of 120 action cards.

It is a set of principles about working on change, systems change, improvement and strategy. A summary of what my approach is about:

  • It is about purposefully observing – ourselves and the situations we engage with
  • It is about purposefully learning
  • It is about adapting over time

These three things are central to the approach and are embedded throughout. It is also about:

  • Dealing with complexity at the right place – not passing it around like a hot potato
  • The right people having autonomy to make decisions, within reasonable boundaries –a model of decision making
  • Distributing power and control – a different model of governance
  • Having the right balance of autonomy and control
  • Considering everyone as a leader – a different model of leadership
  • Recognising and purposefully working with awareness of purpose and identity
  • Bringing humanity back into the work
  • Using the gifts that everyone brings
  • Supporting people to take measured risks
  • Experimenting
  • Self awareness, vulnerability and allowing people to say ‘I don’t know’
  • Co-creating with others
  • Building collaborations and relationships – deliberately building in relationship enablers and interaction channels
  • Reciprocation – deliberate reciprocation strategies
  • Effectiveness, not just efficacy and efficiency
  • Monitoring, not just performance managing – monitoring for system health

It is all about

  • Building healthy work ecosystems
  • Creating the conditions for change at each level – an individual, a team, a service, an organisation, a place

It is NOT a productised model. It is a set of ideas, principles and questions that you can apply to a situation to help you to create the conditions for change for the moves you want to make next. It is heavily based on Stafford Beer’s viable system model and it a creative interpretation of that model but focussed on what humans actually do and what can bring humanity back into the work.

Please note that the ‘Creating the Conditions for Change’ approach is covered by UK copyright. Please act with integrity and reference extracts if you build on them or paraphrase them.

For further information about Creating the Conditions for Change, please contact: pauline@systemspractitioner.com

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