By Donella Meadows~ Diddling with the details, arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Probably 90, no 95, no 99 percent of our attention goes to parameters, but there’s not a lot of leverage in them…People care deeply about parameters and fight fierce battles over them. But they RARELY CHANGE BEHAVIOR.

I’ve been reading Donella Meadows and using systems thinking in my own sustainability consulting practice out of necessity. Why? Because sustainability provides a system view of whatever problem, issue and/or opportunity my clients face. My experience in a client company made up of highly trained engineers is a good case in point. These engineers are well rewarded for their specific expertise. It is no wonder that many throw up their hands when forced to think about changing the system. Not only do they need to think differently, they also need to act differently. There are two ways that I help engineers understand the bigger picture:

Transformation = System Change

I have been part of a long-term technology transformation project that disrupts the current way information is shared across a global energy company. Data will be gathered and shared via the IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things). With the change in technology most parameters, rules of the system, and information flows will also change. While many of the project members understand that paradigms must shift, we encounter friction at multiple levels in the company because our stakeholders must learn to think about and do things differently.

Address Disruption Through Leverage Points

We provide context for the changes needed by identifying the leverage points and how the solution fits within the system. This article provides a good framework for providing clarity in projects and programs that involve complex change. We help companies apply sustainability and system approaches to complex change programs and projects. Contact us if you’d like to learn more.     

 

Read the full article at: donellameadows.org