Systems Sanctuary — March 2019
Part 1: A Systems Leadership Journey Begins
I was extremely grateful for the excellent Rachel Sinha & Tatiana Fraser recognising the need for a localised Australia & New Zealand cohort, for their pioneering peer-learning leadership program, The Systems Sanctuary.
Approach - The Systems Sanctuary
We are being deliberately selective with our programs. You will be meeting people who implicitly understand what you're…
In March, we kicked off the 7 month journey, which combines digital ‘plenary-style’ sessions, small group breakouts, and intra-month buddy catch ups.
All of this is trained on this general theme:
Working systemically creates a series of specific challenges; from navigating power and challenging relationships, to learning how to collaborate in new ways, and understanding your own role in the system. It requires a mindset shift as you slowly get used to the idea that you are not going to transform a system overnight, rather you nudge it in a better direction, over the long-term.
— In The Thick Of It, Systems Sanctuary
I’m excited to be working along an interesting cohort of folks working across domains and with a range of skill sets. A little more about us all here:
In the Thick of It Aus NZ - The Systems Sanctuary
Our Programs Why? Why systems leaders? Our Research Systems Capacities & Capabilities Why systems change? Why peer…
Nurturing The Relational Field
It was nice to lead into this work with an invitation to firstly start to tell our story. Whilst it’s hard in a 90 minute call to go deep on this vital piece of work (my perspective here: Relational Field) we had a chance to speak to the whole group as well as spend a little time in breakout time with just one or two others. More time will be focused here through through buddy time between calls, and through the regular whole-group calls themselves I expect, as trust is a fundamental part of building any community of practice.
Surfacing The Work
I was also happy to find in this first session, Tatiana surfaced the important ‘Inner Game’ work of anyone working in this space. If we’re not working on investigating our internal state — we are deeply at risk of perpetuating the very societal and environmental dynamics which we’re seeking to shift.
To that end, Tatiana introduced a framework for thinking about Equity:
This is really our homework, so I wont say too much about this yet, however I think it’s great to have this surfaced so early, given the framing of this cohort being in the act of ‘Systems Leadership’.
The questions ‘to what end?’, ‘in service of whom?’, and ‘whose version of progress?’ are all very surface and salient in this work.
I’m writing this in order to chart my own journey a little, to aid in wayfinding and synthesis later on.
How can I best share my insights and findings, and make them valuable for others?
What visual aids can I use along the way to break out of ‘narrative’ mode, and support pattern spotting or wayfinding modes?