Seeing Systems, Unlocking the Mysteries of Organizational Life, by B Oshry, 1995 edition, published by Berrett-Koehler

A creative approach which offers challenging messages about why change doesn’t happen in organisations. The book examines human systems, not processes and systems, what happens when we divide into hierarchies and how this impacts at different levels in organisations when someone tries to bring a change.
Oshry says, ‘Generally, if we are paying attention, we know what life is like for us in our part of the system. Other parts of the system are, for the most part invisible to us. We do not know what others are experiencing, what their worlds are like, what issues they are dealing with…what stresses they are undergoing. We have our beliefs, myths and prejudices, which we accept as the truth and which become the basis of our actions. This blindness to others parts of the system is a source of considerable misunderstanding and conflict.’

When you step back and see systems in action change becomes possible. You see that systems, not people, create problems. And when you see problems in this way you can go ahead and fix the system – it’s so much easier than fixing people – so that it drives more productive behaviours and more satisfactory outcomes. If you need to improve collaboration, you will find this book illuminating.

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