Getting in Sync: What to Do When Problem Solving Fails to Fix the Problem
By Peter T. Coleman and Rob Ricigliano, submitted by Rebecca Bass

This framework was developed by Peter Coleman and Rob Ricigliano as a way of conceptualizing and communicating the need for systems thinking in broadly accessible terms. It has been a highly resonant and effective way of engaging professionals and practitioner groups in conversation about the different kinds of challenges they face and the different kinds of adaptive responses required. A chapter on this framework was recently published in the Negotiators Desk Reference.

After introducing the core framework (presented in the accompanying poster), courses and workshops we’ve led at the MD-ICCCR typically then present a case study of someone who attempted to use clock tools on cloud problems before turning to more systemic strategies (i.e. Geoffrey Canada and the Harlem Children’s Zone), and then explore the skills, capacities, and practices involved in “working in sync.”

This includes exercises focused on: increasing complexity of thought, emotions, and behaviors; increasing tolerance for ambiguity; visualizing/mapping systems in order to understand the influence of non-linear dynamics; identifying latent positive patterns within the system that can be bolstered and promoted; and identifying the manifest destructive dynamics that can be dismantled and mitigated.