When we see it, it’s obvious. Until then, it’s a hidden dynamic. Worldview Intelligence provides many different opportunities to reveal the obvious, making it possible to strategize relationships and communications in ways that move issues of common interest forward, often in new and previously un-thought-of ways.
Each of the Worldview Intelligence explorations – personal, professional, team, organizational, cultural, social systems – provides a window into seeing more of what exists, illuminating patterns, assumptions, belief and value systems in reflective, curious and generative ways. The best way to understand this is through stories. Here we share an example from a health care client we are working with in the United States. It operates in three States with 30,000 employees and is bringing innovation to many areas of its work. One such area is in bringing a team based approach to patient care in their clinics.
In the last year, there have been six clinics in a pilot project led by a team within the organization that is providing the clinics with resources, including evidence based research, leadership development and team cohesion assessments. We were invited to bring Worldview Intelligence to build connections within and across the teams as they were brought altogether for the first time. The impact was revealing and fascinating for all involved.
Shifting the Trust/Risk Dynamics
The co-ordinating team was curious to see if and how we could build enough trust within two days for the teams to become vulnerable enough to share with each other openly and honestly. At the end of Day 1, they weren’t sure they had the answer to that question but by break time the next morning it was clear that the teams were openly sharing successes and challenges and making requests of the co-ordinating team. There was also a demonstrable shift in how members of teams sought each other out to explore new questions at the break and during lunch.
How did this happen? The first day focused on the personal worldview exploration including strategies for hosting yourself when your worldview is challenged. While on the surface it didn’t look like much had shifted at the end of the day, it laid a solid foundation for the next day’s exploration related to the social systems of each of the six clinic teams and the co-ordinating team. The personal experience provides an opportunity for people to embody the Worldview Intelligence framework as they gain insight into why they see and experience the world the way they do. The reflection and curiosity that was brought to the personal exploration carried through to subsequent explorations, opening the space for expanded observations, understanding and insights.
Social Systems Mapping
The teams were asked to map their social system and then come back and share what they discovered with the whole group. Social systems mapping is not new, but looking at the mapped systems through the Worldview Intelligence framework is. It has mappers asking different questions to reveal the hidden dynamics and to strategize how to work within and across the system.
Examples of Social Systems Maps
As the team shared their discoveries, not only were they honest and open, there were surprising collective revelations as the entire group began to see the worldview experiences of each clinic and of the whole. By the time all the presentations were complete, the atmosphere in the room had shifted from a collection of teams to a sense of belonging to something bigger and the conversations and relationships had shifted as people sought each other out to learn more.
What were some of the revelations? In short: the impact of the community as a social system on each clinic, unintended consequences and a question about the role of the co-ordinating team.
Impact of Community on Each Clinic
First of all, each clinic is located in a different community or social system. That social system impacts who comes to the clinic, the unique challenges each clinic must address and it influences how the clinic interacts with its community. Different clinics held assumptions about their environment and how it differed from the other clinics and not all those assumptions held true. A clinic located in a larger center assumed they experienced more diversity than clinics in smaller centers. When they said this in their presentation, the members of another clinic team all smiled or chuckled so we knew something was up. When that team did their presentation they talked about the large newcomer population in their area and how that brought 56 different languages into their work, presenting different challenges depending on access to translation services, understanding of cultural traditions and more. Other influences of the communities on the various clinics included availability of staff to fill positions and outreach.
One of the clinics, located in a larger center, had an ongoing relationship with two other clinics in that area. They had spent over seven years working on building consistency across the three clinics so patients would have a similar experience no matter where they went. Only one clinic is in the pilot project and they shared that this was putting their relationships with the other two clinics at risk because they were now changing their approach to patient care and the other clinics did not have the same context.
Role and Relevance of the Co-ordinating Team
Another revelation of note is that for each of the clinics, as they mapped their system, the co-ordinating team was either not on the map or only there in a peripheral way, whereas for the co-ordinating team the clinics were a significant part of their map. This awareness has the members of the co-ordinating team questioning why this is so and becoming curious about their relevance and role and what they might need to shift to support the clinic teams differently.
Consistent and Responsive Systems and Processes
The exploration pointed to the need for an approach, systems and processes that provide consistency across the clinics while allowing for responsiveness to each of the communities and social systems the clinics are located within. It provided key learnings for the current pilot and for what needs to be taken into account when the next round of clinics is brought on for Phase 2.
It all seems completely obvious as it is revealed but it stays hidden until a process, framework and structure is offered to illuminate the patterns and dynamics in a healthy, constructive way that builds relationships and connections for stronger outcomes. Worldview Intelligence is that approach.