Thrive by 5: Foundation Workshop Full Notes - page 17

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INTRODUCTIONTO SYSTEMSTHINKING
Simulating a System
As away to introduce the team to systems thinking, agamewas played to simulate how systemswork. The instructions
providedwere:
Twopeople need to leave the room andwill come tobeobservers
Everyoneelse:
o Choose twopeople (but don’t announce it)
o Stay equidistant from them
o Keepmoving
PlenaryDebrief
Observations about ‘the system’ that was simulated:
o Not cohesive
o Not communicating
o Givingeachother a lot of space
o Appeared tobegoing in samedirection, thenpeoplewouldget stuck/stoppedmoving
o May havebeen self-organizing at times, and at other times didn’t appear tobe
o “It wasn’t awesome”
o Implicit rules emergedquitequickly:
Don’t engage
No collaboration
Move about randomly
o Therewas no leader/no vision
What does this teach us about thepeoplewho areworking to change a system?
o It’s hard to figureout a system from theoutside
o You have to understand the rules of the system
o You’redependent onotherswhether you like it or not, have to follow theirmovements (inter-relationships lead
to complexity)
o You have no ideawho is following you
o Changes ripple through the system
o Why are they doing all that stuff??Depends onwhat we’ve agreed to (explicit or implicit; tacit agreements)
Systems are hard to understand, andwithout the capacity tounderstand the systemwe’re trying toeffect, the
probability of creating change is very low.
Evenwith two rules, it becomes impossible topredict what will happen
o There’s nothingwrongwith it (suspending judgment), this is an exercise in just trying to understand it
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