Joan Lurie believes that we need more organisational ecologists – people who understand the uniqueness of organisational systems.
For our first event of 2022, Joan joined us to lead an insightful and practical discussion about how she works with leaders and organisations to support change through understanding and working with systems.
Joan describes systems thinking as a new pair of glasses, a new way to see the world. She says that understanding the technical and interpersonal elements of leadership are helpful, but not sufficient to navigate the complexities of our current context. Every individual carries a mental map of a system, but most people don’t know it. These maps drive our behaviour as powerfully as who we are. If we can make these maps visible to ourselves and others, we can reflect on them and put them out for testing. Then we can understand what is required to bring about change.
As OD practitioners we often focus on self-awareness, and while this is an important element of development, if we don’t understand the role that self plays in system, we are only considering one part of the story. Understanding systems allows us to step more flexible in and out of roles as context shifts – as it does constantly in the current work environment.
Throughout the session, we had the opportunity to discuss our own understanding of systems, and how we can apply this to our work.
It was a fantastic session to kick off the year!