InterJournal ????, 1187
Status: Accepted
Manuscript Number: [1187]
Submission Date: 2004
Using Systems Thinking to Facilitate Organizational Change
Author(s): David Peter Stroh




Systems thinking is a powerful approach to facilitating organizational change. In order to be effective, analytic skills must be complemented by social skills in helping the system become aware of itself, be willing to shift to a new structure, and successfully bridge the gap between its current and desired states. The social skills reviewed in this paper are container building to develop change readiness, stimulating curiosity to relax limiting assumptions, achieving clarity to deepen understanding of causality and responsibility for the existing state, fostering compassion to reduce defensiveness, mobilizing commitment to the new state by be examining hidden benefits to the existing one, making choices to achieve leverage, embodying courage to engage others and deal with worse-before-better dynamics, and cultivating celebration to entrain learning and renew energy. Cases of successful organizational change that combine technical systems thinking with the aformentioned social skills will also be presented.

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