Systems Change and Theory of Change

Systems Change

Systems change is not something that someone can ‘do’ for you. It is a journey you embark on. What we can do, though, is help you to see where you are now and the opportunities for where you might want to go next. Exploration in your context is key and this is something that I can help you with. Only the people involved know the nuances of the context and yet sometimes find it hard to articulate them and work with them. Focussing on how the people in your system interact with one another, form identity together, make meaning together, communicate and collaborate are key elements to consider.

A lot of my work nowadays is working with groups of people who are seeking to explore and enable systems change. I do not ‘do it for them’. This would be impossible, but I help to guide them in a way that supports them as they explore the elements in their context that will help them to enable systems change. I use a wide range of systems thinking and complexity concepts, approaches, methodologies, methods, models and tools, including those I have designed myself to guide you on your journey.

My theory of change

My theory of change is that we need to create the right conditions for adaptability and for positive change to emerge.

Within that we need to believe in the skills, talents and potential of all of those in the situation. Help individuals to unlock those skills and talents, harness them and encourage them to flourish. We need to support people to develop their self-esteem and confidence.  Each individual should be seen as having equally valuable and important skills and thinking. People need to be allowed to bring their whole selves to the party, not their job role. Their beliefs, their values, their passions are vitally important. All of this is required to support their ‘ecosystem’ to adapt and thrive over time.

We must support people in developing their capacity for systems and complexity thinking so they can explore and discover the situation in different ways and from a variety of perspectives.

The ethos of the work must be authentic, and it must be the people in the situation who drive and nurture the ‘conditions for change’. This will take the development of communities and networks of people who have effective interactions and form trusting relationships. Together, their own creativity is what will create the conditions for change.

There is no room for heroes and egos. Just peer coaches, encouragers and nurturers.

My role as coach is to help unlock the door to people’s hidden skills and talents. To develop people’s systems and complexity thinking capabilities, support them to think differently about their situation and help them to build their confidence so they can empower themselves, believe in themselves and take action. To help them understand and develop effective networks, interactions and relationships and to support them as they take their first tentative steps into the unknown.

Support

If you are embarking on your systems change journey and need a helping hand to get you started, please get in touch. I offer services that range from working with you in your context to enhance your understanding of systems and complexity, coaching for those who are guiding others through systems change to working with you on a programme of workshops/ online events to develop your systems and complexity thinking understanding and capabilities.

pauline@systemspractitioner.com