Reflection 8


Usually, if something is broken you fix it but not always with the most appropriate or right piece of equipment. Sometimes you use what’s at hand for a temporary or expedient solution, and if it’s not broken, you leave well enough alone. This generally has been my experience of living and working with organizations and groups.

A living systems perspective has challenged and changed that for me. It has challenged me to see the ‘bigger picture’, to recognize and acknowledge that the part is a reflection of the whole and the whole a reflection of the part. To know this, gives greater impulse and importance to the values I live and work out of and while I might think the little ‘part’ I play in the great scheme of things may not seem much, from the perspective of living systems, it contributes to world change!

Seeing myself as a participant among participants in a complex living system changes everything and constantly turns my world upside down. To see and act from this perspective calls me to constant conversion and transformation – it challenges my need to control and fix things, people and situations - and letting go of this behaviour and thinking is a daily task for me.

At an organisational level it is helping us move from the mechanistic/hierarchical, individualistic approach to a deep recognition of the interconnectedness of all living things. In turn this has challenged our mindsets and given us a kind of wake up call. We continually question long held assumptions and beliefs about our institution, and look to a living systems perspective to help us articulate the values, behaviours and actions we need to imbibe and operate from.

Instead of looking at the ‘broken bits’ of our organisation to find out how we might fix them we’re looking at them, finding patterns and themes, trying to listen to them, recognising that they are not objects to be fixed but that they hold a story worth listening to – and learning from our experience can inform what we need to do next.


Reflection 1
on embracing the chaos of change

Reflection 2
on the transforming effects of a systems perspective

Reflection 3
inspired to attempt big change

Reflection 4
the systems ‘lens’ - a breath of fresh air

Reflection 5
the relief and challenge of working systemically

Reflection 6
on creating internal cohesion on a large scale

Reflection 7
on learning from different perspectives

Reflection 8
from ‘fixing what's broken’ to ‘listening to patterns’

Reflection 9
confirmed and inspired by our own work

Reflection 10
really facing up to the challenge of change

changing the way
you change