Shifting from Silos to Systems
Our focus is shifting from silos to systems... breaking down barriers and facilitating collaboration that drives meaningful, measurable progress towards shared goals.
We employ the System In a Room (SITR) approach to convene representatives within a system to win hearts and minds, align around a common vision, inspire commitment, and plan the roadmap for successful outcomes. The benefits of SITR include:
- Acceleration- because the whole system seldom, if ever, meets together, you can accomplish many months of work in a couple of days
- More informed view – because no one has the whole picture, this approach leads to better solutions
- Reduced risk of unintended consequences – because you are not leaving out key perspectives
- More innovative solutions – because people are having conversations they have never had with people they don’t talk to – it opens up new possibilities
- Deeper engagement/ownership/enrollment – because this process creates deep involvement that helps the system to own implementation
- Address systemic barriers that individual players cannot tackle – because misaligned incentives and business context (rules of the game) make best solutions uneconomical for any one player
System & Stakeholder Mapping
Solving complex challenges in areas like health, environment or economic development requires a solid understanding of how the system actually works. While most organizations know the drivers that create undesirable outcomes in their field, visualizing the system on a single piece of paper surfaces rich insights on the data, pilot programs, stakeholders, etc. that can effect a positive measurable shift.
The best system maps are collaboratively developed by representatives across the system. We use system maps to provide a strong focal point for our System in a Room workshops, which helps mitigate potential conflict and orients discussion around productive solutions.
From there, we can better identify the stakeholders required within a more effective system — what roles they play, what their motivations might be to participate, and how we can construct a self-sustaining ecosystem (both offline and online) to continue the momentum created in the SITR.
The Internet is littered with failed attempts at creating online forums. The “if we build it they will come” mentality must shift to a more strategic, purpose-driven approach to driving online collaboration. We combine our expertise in multi-organizational collaboration with best practices from Silicon Valley ecosystems — borrowing from successes like Linux, eBay, Wikipedia — to create online platforms for accelerating impact.
If you’re not ready for a full SITR approach, collaboration workshops are smaller-scale ways to move the ball forward. We can help education your team on the principles of thriving communities, or align stakeholders internally and/or externally around shared visions. Contact us with your specific challenges and we can work together to design the right approach.