Charting a Course: Systems Thinking and Political Strategy


Charting a Course: Systems Thinking and Political Strategy


Learn how to step back from a challenge to get a bird’s-eye view. How to step up to the balcony to observe the whole dance floor.

Exercising real leadership demands rigorous diagnostic work. You must chart the political landscape to successfully mobilize people for change and make long-lasting progress.

But once you have a diagnosis, how do you act? What moves should you make? What roles do you and others in your community need to play to tackle the challenge and move the work forward? This session offers a concrete approach to mapping the key players so you can engage them in the difficult work of adaptive change.

What are the stories people tell themselves around the problem at hand? How are they framing narratives of the past, today and tomorrow? And what is really at stake for them?

We are going to explore the political landscape to find out what people in different factions are holding on to. What they are willing to fight for. Maybe even die for. Uncovering these drivers and understanding the alliances, connections, and resistance that stand in the way of change will be crucial for your success.

In this course, you will:

  • Gain an understanding of systems thinking and political strategy

  • Learn how to map political factions and identify key influencers and stakeholders

  • Develop the ability to distinguish a person’s individual style and characteristics from the social and political pressures that influence her choices and actions

  • Explore what it means to depersonalize actions and choices by keeping the work at the center

  • Learn methods for stepping back from the challenge to gain perspective, clarity, and fresh ideas for action and influence

Wherever you are in your leadership development journey, this session will provide you with actionable and impactful ideas and insights that deepen your understanding of the key players in your community and give you perspective on the bigger picture so you can begin to exercise true leadership.

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