For a long time I developed models and inflicted them on other people. Fortunately, due to the interaction with others, it became apparent that it made more sense to become a storyteller of relationships and their implications.
This video offers thoughts on why it’s not possible to sell systems thinking, or anything else to a person or an organization, and insights on how to offer the understanding of the benefits of shifting to systems thinking.
2 thoughts on “Storytelling to Enable Systems Thinking”
It’s amazing how engaged people are when you endeavor to enable them to realize how smart they Are!
Thanks for sharing, Gene! And also for having the courage to be open about your personal learning journey. Indeed, I see quite some resemblance with my own learning journey on teaching systems and networks. I, too, eventually learned not to talk about systems thinking when teaching systems thinking.
Here are two other things that I found helpful:
 the best way to get people to “buy” is to let them experience. How does it feel to be stakeholder in a complex problem? How does it feel to operate in a network collaboration? Exercises like those in the Systems Thinking Playbook are great! Don’t mention the book while teaching, though ;). My storyline here refers to this playful learning context: “let’s do less puzzling, and more gaming”.
 Build on what people already know (about the problem; stakeholders, relationships; etc) . There are so many unknown knowns to be discovered. My storyline here is “let’s create a little bit less and explore a little bit more”.
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