I started this blog at the beginning of this year, with the intention of creating a channel to share my thoughts about systems, learning, change and feedback loops. I found it totally engaging and easy to write once a week. I had extra capacity at the time, was reading a lot, learning a lot, and the practice of writing helped me integrate what I was learning through reflection. My organization underwent a significant change in the summer, and I also experienced a major shift in role. Since then I have had much less capacity to read and learn outside of my day to day work, which is consuming a lot of my focused attention. I have dropped the writing, and I miss it. I want to re-boot my blog, intentionally letting go of my former expectation that I write about some external source. Instead, I am going to use this forum as a weekly reflection on what I am learning from my direct experience in my work environment. So it is likely to become more personal, and draw less on others’ work. I thought I would start this new chapter by being clear about my intention, because I believe that will help create space for realizing that intention.
Before the summer, I was thinking a lot about system change and practicing it on a small scale. Now I am fully engaged in leading system change on a much larger scale. And by fully engaged, I mean with every part of me – head, heart and body. It is interesting to be leading change from within, as a part of the system. It creates a bit of a paradox for me – because I am in the system, and have a leadership role, I have a lot of leverage for creating change. But because I am in the system, and have been part of it for some time, I find it hard sometimes to see what needs to change, what could change, how to generate movement, or even how it is actually working since I have internalized it. I also have a deep respect for the current system. So it is a bit of a paradox. I understand now why people who want to create change from within find external partners to support them. There is such huge value in getting a fresh perspective. Ironically, the longer you work with an external partner, the more they become part of your system. So your partners need to change too.
Just some of my reflections this week.