‘Whole Systems’ work was introduced by Peter Block and is typically used as a method to get all stakeholders involved in a change initiative. It may involve rolling out new processes or addressing cultural issues such as horizontal violence, less than ideal patient experience reports, or need to improve professionalism in the workplace. The approach that I follow is summarized below:
1. Discuss concerns with leader (s) and map out 4-5 interview questions for staff designed to assess the nature of barriers to ideal individual and team performance.
2. Individual interviews with each member of the team or staff to hear perspectives. These are confidential with the understanding that I am collecting input that will be reported on.
3. I discuss findings with leader(s) and make recommendations for problem-solving. Typically this involves a series of workshops with the group and possible coaching support for certain individuals.
4. Facilitate a feedback session with the staff and leader (s). This step often involves some tension as I report back on themes from interviews and my assessment as to the nature of the problem (s). We are, in effect talking about the elephant in the room and I am deliberately engaging staff in a commitment to do the work towards creating a healthier workplace.
5. Workshops and if necessary, individual coaching take place over a period of weeks or months that often include setting new norms for behavior and developing and practicing respectful communication skills.
Implicit in the process is trust-building, eliminating informal power dynamics, establishing accountability, and contributing to a healthy culture. Contact me to discuss how we might utilize this process with your team: Ph-603-205-3509 or firstname.lastname@example.org