Capacities and Capabilities for Systems Change

By Rachel Sinha and Tatiana Fraser

What do you need to get good at, if you’re attempting systems change?

We were invited to contribute to this question as wonderful systems leader Daniela Papi-Thornton hosted a workshop at Yale to explore it. She was creating a gallery of all the answers she’d come across in academia and in the growing field of practice internationally.

We bumbled something together quickly to contribute, but it left us with an unanswered question that kept niggling at us.

To answer it we went back to the practitioners themselves. We were in the middle of creating a summary of the learning from In the Thick of It, our peer learning program for systems leaders. We used that as the basis of our thinking. What were people who were literally, in the thick of their systems change initiatives relying on, struggling with.

We mixed this with our combined 25 years experience of doing this work ourselves and came up with a set of Capabilities and Capacities that felt right.

Take a look. You can read a more comprehensive version here.

Systems Capacities & Capabilities from The Systems Sanctuary

We are using this as the backbone of a program we just launched for organizations trying to embed systems practice across an ecosystem. You can find our more about this program, Embed It here.