Talk: On transforming systems


Last September, we delivered a 20x20 talk to the Regional Enterprise Networks of Nova Scotia gathering in Digby, Nova Scotia—twenty slides, one minute per slide. It’s funny how these constricting formats push speakers to consider and deliver their ideas succinctly. Like a yoga practice, it’s the constrictions that do the greatest work in helping us to stretch and refine. Count us in!

We don’t ever work with people who know what to do. What we’ve learned in twenty years of systems change work is that if we want to make transformation—especially when we’re feeling stuck in the status quo—we need to change the way we engage each other and how we engage ourselves.
— Tuesday Ryan-Hart

The Regional Enterprise Networks of Nova Scotia were mandated to surface new perspectives and innovation for the province's next era of vitality and growth. They brought us on board to facilitate a day of rewiring patterns—of being, of assumptions, of blocks—and to break through to new territory.

And so we invested our 20x20 time on the basic principles of shared work. What would we say to a group of collaborators tasked with a new mandate and about to set out into that new territory? What’s most important to remember, especially given the certainty of facing difficult realities and doing things counter to ‘the way things have always been done’?

Watch the whole 20x20 for a refresher. It’s just as instructive for us as it is for everyone else—boiled down to just the essentials, this is an ongoing practice for us, too. Let’s keep stretching!

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