Standard 2: Take a Systemic View
Competent practitioners take a systemic view of their work. This requires them to identify the subsystems that make up the total organization. They look for and recognize that a change in one area will affect other areas. They consider how the dynamics in society, the marketplace, workplace, work, and workers affect the desired outcomes.
They use their knowledge of systems theory and their consulting and communication skills to help clients recognize:
• How functions are interdependent.
• That a change in one area or system will affect other systems.
• The relationship between internal practices and the marketplace and society.
• The difference between symptoms and causes.
• The impact of misalignment of goals and practices.
• How decisions and misalignment affect the ability to be competitive in the marketplace.
• Make better decisions about the work.
• Question the implications of decisions before acting.
• Consider others in their decisions.
For example, you might:
• Introduce team members to systems theory.
• Model a systemic view in your exchanges with the client and key influencers in the organization.
• Have conversations around barriers in the workplace that may affect the project.
• Discuss the importance of knowing:
− The agendas of key political players and stakeholders
− How practices may affect the larger environment
− Constraints or pressures (i.e., budget, scope, resources) of key players, the business, and the target audience
− Expectations around the project
− Consequences of various solutions or risks in not pursuing a solution
− How the work, workplace, or environment supports or impedes the desired organizational and group performance
− How the current culture supports or impedes the desired performance
• Where there is a lack of alignment between or among key factors affecting the success of the solution(s)
• How proposed solutions will affect the greater environment of the organization as a whole
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− The impact of the project on the client, the larger environment, and society
− How to increase awareness throughout the workplace of the benefits of a systemic approach
• Ask the client what effect achieving results might have on other systems.
• Ask what effect the changes required to achieve the goals will have on the community, customers, or workforce.