#11 Systemic Approach by Alain Cardon

Alain Cardon


Leaders in different organizations, schools, families and in the community at large encounter complex situations and so it is vital for leaders to understand patterns at work to make viral change.

In this episode Alan Cardon, shares his insights on what systemic approach means.

Here are the main points:

  • Systemic approach to change patterns enhances management efficiency rapidly
  • If you want change in organizations, you need to start locally
  • A successful change starts from the grassroots

What Is Systemic Approach Coaching?

Systemic Approach is the recognition of patterns and reproduction of new behavioral patterns to yield better results in large complex systems. Patterns enable one to understand how situations are handled and give us information on how challenging situations can be addressed in the future.

Look at the things in a holistic way to see what fractals repeat and make choices on how to evolve fractals. It is a less linear, less segmenting, with fewer expert orientation than what has been done in the past.

[4:34] “] Listen to the example Alain provides about patterns in organizations.

To make a viral change you need to start changing patterns locally. The real question is what kind of viral approach we can have that will spread throughout the organization in the shortest possible time. Catch patterns, extrapolate and see how you can inoculate viral change.To spread a systemic change, you can’t do something that has worked elsewhere, it won’t work. Look at patterns that most impact your organization.

How would you scale up Systemic Approach especially when strategy needs to be rolled out in the organization?

This can be done by working with the top 90 members of the organization in an offsite. This is where you can introduce patterns and disrupt patterns of how people behave and interact with each other. This has to be done repeatedly to get the new patterns registered in people’s minds, so they start to get a hold of it and see advantages of new ways of working. If you can change the top 90 in the organization that’s about 10 teams that manage other teams, you are massively inoculating a kind of virus that will spread down.

Sometimes, it’s best not to start from the top where its most resistant.

What challenges do people face in organizations when they are trying to make changes?

People don’t understand when they are told to behave as partners who have ownership and then in the very next sentence, they are told top-down. Discrepancy in the double language in centralized control systems is one of the biggest reasons for resistance to change.

The resistance is not to the quality of the change but to the way the change is pushed.

When people’s opinions and ideas are included then they are more likely to embrace the change.

What is ONE advice you would give organizations who are making big transformations?

Nice talks and roll outs are basically push downs where top management wants to be applauded for their intelligent ideas, this won’t work.

People applaud to new ideas and show business will not lead to cultural transformation.

For cultural transformation, start with small steps from the bottom, where people know exactly what’s going on. Real transformation needs to be grassroots with a vision.

What is ONE vitamin that will help Viral Solutions spread?

[20:17] “] Change management is looking at all the processes like decision making, information flow, etc. Centrally driven change won’t work. Examine local patterns in different processes, find local solutions, experiment, measure the results and communicate the results with everyone!

Change that brings excellent results excites people.



Make effective change with Rethink Leadership Methodology

Samskara Dec 2021 Issue #08

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