Sometimes we, as change makers, forget the teams we work with are part of organisations and those organisations are part of industries and industries are part of societies and so on. We forget too that we way we think about life and organisations has been shaped by other thinkers, by economic models, by worldviews.
“we are taught to break apart problems, to fragment the world. This apparently makes complex tasks and subjects more manageable, but we pay a hidden, enormous price. We can no longer see the consequences of our actions; we lose our.. connection to a larger whole.”Peter Senge
Systems thinking and thinking about the ecosystems we are a part of can be overwhelming. Especially as we have been taught to break things apart and look at the small parts. When we consider the whole, it can be paralysing as it feels impossible to change or make a dent. However, as we ‘break things apart’ we forget how much of life is interconnected. We do not live moving from one vacuum tube to another. Nor do we or can we parts of who we are at home, when we go to work.
This disconnection from the ‘larger whole’ comes with an enormous cost, as Senge says. In many ways, the entire environmental challege is a result of this disconnection. And our economic model of externalities (things we don’t pay for directly) is also a result of this disconnection.
Perhaps, more than ever, we need change makers who help us ‘see’ connections. Connections beyond ourselves, our organisations. But not in an overwhelming, paralysing way. We need change makers who help us see our connectedness and how we can use this connectedness to bring about change.