Thursday, August 2, 2012

Using systems thinking tools . . .

Today was the first day of the ESD systems thinking conference attended by a team of Tahoma staff representing PSE and supervisors at the building, department, and system level.  Our focus is on an issue that has troubled PSE leadership and staff for many years and has persevered through multiple technical solutions.  We realize that we need an adaptive solution and a process that looks at system structures.  What is the issue?  Evaluation and supervision of classified staff and the mental models that have been created over time.

Our team has the support of an outside systems coach who helped us use the tools that were introduced today, behavior over time graphs and the iceberg, to begin looking at the issue through a different lens.  Conversations at the end of the day identifying mental models held by those on the team were informative and opened the door to identifying structures that result in an evaluation process not valued by either the evaluee or evaluator.  The process left me both reflective and hopeful and also saddened because I won't be able to be a part of the conversations through Saturday.

I look forward to the outcome over the next day and a half and to the meetings that will continue during the course of the year.  I believe there is leverage in these tools to support resolving multiple issues that persist over time and that we will be confronted with as we continue our Classroom 10 journey.

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