Systems Sensibility for Leadership Development
Systems Sensibility may be the most important of the recommended leadership development competencies— it includes:
- The ability to understand that we are all interconnected and interrelated.
- Understanding that a change in one part can have an effect on the other parts, even if we can’t see direct causation.
- Developing the practice and skill of looking at systems as a whole
- Understanding the idea of mental models and how we can challenge our own.
We respect and participate in the interconnected web of all existence grounded in our growing understanding of systems from the discoveries of Quantum Physics, Process Theology and American Pragmatism.
- Participate in Study/Reflection groups with others who are developing their own systems sensibility.
- Use an Adaptive Leadership lens when looking at organizational issues.
- Learn how to "Get on the Balcony," i.e. look at the system as a whole.
- Mind Walk: clip explaining Systems Theory (YouTube, 5:05)
- Introduction to Healthy Congregations (YouTube, 9:58)
- Art of Hosting (YouTube, 3:31)
- UU Testimonials about Systems Thinking Training
- Systems Thinking as a Leadership Practice by George Ambler
- Can You See the Triangles by Margaret Marcuson
- Thinking about Congregations: Using Bowen Family Systems Theory by Tim Shapiro
- Changing Emotional Systems by Peter Steinke
- Dependency in Congregational Life, or Mommy! Daddy! by the Rev. Kenneth Gordon Hurto (podcast and article)
- Your regional staff provides Systems Sensibility as the main part of the various leadership schools.
- You may wish to invite a trained Healthy Congregations® consultant to offer a series of trainings for your congregation or cluster. Contact your regional staff for recommendations.
- The UU Leadership Institute offers inexpensive online version of in-depth systems courses: Healthy Leadership 101 and a more advanced Leading Adaptively 401.
- "Congregations as Emotional Systems" (YouTube, 36:52) by Peter Steinke (2006 UU University)
- Church Conflict: A Systems Perspective (YouTube, 32:00) by Peter Steinke (2006 UU University)
- Organizational Health: A Powerful Advantage (1:07:43) with Patrick Lencioni
- Congregational Life Dynamics and Conflict Management (PDF): An Application of Family Systems Theory Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Handbook
- Congregational Leadership in Anxious Times: Being Calm and Courageous No Matter What by Peter L. Steinke
- A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix by Edwin Friedman
- Healthy Congregations: A Systems Approach by Peter L. Steinke
- The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business by Patrick Lencioni
- The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization By Peter M. Senge
- Seeing Systems: Unlocking the Mysteries of Organizational Life by Barry Oshrey
- Leadership and the New Science: Discovering Order in a Chaotic World by Margaret Wheatley