When can we talk about our systems?

Your team is down by a few points and the game is almost over. What play should you call?

[When can we talk about the system of drafting and training that got your team to this situation in the first place?]

Your back hurts and you think you need surgery to help with the pain.

[When can we talk about the technique you use when you go running every day?]

Your employee shows up late regularly. How can you get them to care more?

[When can we talk about your hiring and leadership approaches?]

There’s racial injustice and unfairness all around us.

[Can we talk about persistent indoctrination around caste?]

You just had an argument with your brother. What’s the best way for him to see that you’re right?

[When can we talk about the narratives your family has developed for generations?]

Universities and local schools are in crisis with testing in disarray and distant learning ineffective…

[When can we talk about what school is for?]

It’s comfortable to ignore the system, to assume it is as permanent as the water surrounding your goldfish. But the fact that we have these tactical problems is all the evidence we need to see that something is causing them, and that spending time on the underlying structure could make a difference.

In a crisis, there’s maximum attention. And in a crisis, we often discard any pretense of caring about systems and resilience and focus only on how to get back to normal. This is precisely why normal is what normal is, because we fight to get back to it.

Changing the system changes everything. And it might be even less work than pouring water on today’s tactical emergency.


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