Accelerate 2013 - Systems Change: How To Get To Breakthrough Outcomes

Adam Kahane and Charmian Love joined Dr. Bryan Smith to share their wisdom around the question ‘How do systems actually change?’ Some of what was shared included that mapping out systems and organizations is extremely useful for understanding the leverage points and linking pins, so you can get good people into key positions. Trying to convert people who oppose change into people that drive it doesn’t work. Charmian talked about how social entrepreneurs are important ‘disruptors’ of our larger system, and beakthroughs happen when there is an audacious goal that requires collaboration to succeed. Changing systems requires individuals to learn and change, not just a change in structure. Adam explained how it often happens that we get 'stuck' in these processes, due to the fact that a particular issue requires collaboration between disparate groups in order to actually change it. He talked about how stories are a way to create change through changing shared understandings, and as a result, the actions that flow from those understandings. Scenarios are a type of story and a tool we can use for this. There are different collaborative models that are giving us hope. These processes are not easy, and we consistently underestimate the time and resources and commitment it takes.