NEK Prosper Resources and Tools

Stewardship Team

SENSING THE GREATER SYSTEM

Session 1MURAL Board – This session focused on some foundational frameworks and principles to better work in systems. We’ll see you back on June 6 to roll up our sleeves and get more practical about how you all want to operate together, as well as examine what systems and leverage points are at work in issues of importance to NEK Prosper!

Homework reminder: As a growth assignment between Sessions 1 & 2, we request that you each set up and conduct an Empathy Walk (or empathy coffee/tea chat).  This should be done with a stakeholder you have no previous interaction with whose perspective is important to your work.  This stakeholder might be a recipient of your work output (e.g., community member receiving a service) or someone else impacted by the work (e.g., support people in the system helping to conduct the work).  This walk should be around 30 minutes (or longer if you prefer).  The goals are to:

1) Put deep levels of listening and conversing into practice; and

2) Learn more about the systems contributing to the work you care about by hearing from a new perspective of someone in that work system.

Review of Session 1 Content & Materials

*   Theory U

*   One type of change management framework that helps people to move from intention to impactful action.

*   This framework has a series of “movements” that people work through to better sense the system and what they want to change, as well as test meaningful solutions.

*   Powerful Listening via Four Levels of Listening Framework – See Powerful Listening MURAL Board

*   Four Levels of Listening is a framework by Otto Scharmer that helps people to identify and shift their level of listening and conversing to create deep and lasting change.

*   During this portion of the meeting we broke out into small groups to conduct a listening exercise.  This exercise allowed us to practice moving between different levels of listening to more deeply reflect on and connect with the story and storyteller.  Conversing with one another in small groups about non-work related items also performs a dual function of helping you all to strengthen your relationships which is the foundation of growing trust—a key component that PHIL’s research has validated is important to building up core components (shared purpose, collective action, data practices, and financing) of successful multisector work.

*   We also reflected on how you all might want to put powerful listening into practice.

*   Please note that the MURAL Board contains a reflect and iterate section with instruction on how you all can further consider embedding powerful listening into your work with NEK Prosper! partners at large.

*   Key Leadership Practices & Concepts – See Leadership Practices & Concepts MURAL Board

*   We shared an array of leadership practices and concepts to be aware of as you do multisector, systems-level work.  Examples include awareness of limiting beliefs and blind spots, integration of regular reflection into work, as well as important mindsets to embody.  Lastly, we also shared about the importance of systems thinking when working to conduct transformative change.

*   We encourage you to jump back into this MURAL to spend more time considering the various concepts.  The right-hand column of the table includes a reflect and iterate section with content that you can put into practice to improve your awareness and/or skills as leaders in multi-sector, systems-change work.

Please let us know if you have any follow-up questions or concerns!

Kind regards,

Sue, Christina, & Kathryn