The world’s toughest problems share similarities that make them complex: there is no single root cause, no single actor owns it, the nature of the problem is constantly evolving, and it is perpetuated by entrenched behaviours and interests.
Complex problems require a different way of working. Where a problem fits these criteria, meaningful change cannot be achieved through traditional approaches. We created Systemcraft to address that need. Key aspects of its approach are:
1. Answer “What next?”
Systemcraft starts with a person or institution and the problem they see. It is action-oriented and practical, helping change leaders to take steps forward on the journey of achieving positive change.
2. Redesign Patterns
Systemcraft shifts thinking from “problems” to the “patterns” that create them, orienting change processes toward the broader set of interactions that produce the problem.
3. Work Collectively
The potential to change patterns depends on our ability to collaborate more effectively. This ethos threads across the Systemcraft approach, and particularly into its action-oriented Five Dimensions, with tactics to build shared understanding, secure commitment, change the dynamics, enable coordination and augment learning.
4. Working Adaptively
Reflecting the constantly-evolving nature of complex problems, Systemcraft supports change leaders to work more adaptively, speeding the tempo of review and iteration and promoting a different mindset to evaluating change.
5. Influence at Scale
Systemcraft equips change leaders to consider their own realm of influence and to pursue impact at scale by influencing both more local and more global pathways to change.
6. Address Power
All patterns are a product of power. Changing them requires the ability to influence those structures and the feedback loops that perpetuate them. Systemcraft incorporates a proactive and pragmatic approach to such dynamics, with an emphasis on inclusive participation and benefit.
7. Seek Windows of Opportunity
Leaders must be opportunistic in identifying timely moments for change. Systemcraft helps to scan for these.