Many complex situations involve lots of different people with different perspectives. Understanding multiple perspectives involves recognising and acknowledging your own worldview first. There are tools and techniques which can help you ‘imagine’ what other perspectives might be although this is hard to do for other people as we cannot truly experience or know their perspective on the world as they see it. However, we can use systems tools and approaches to bring out other people perspectives in ways that respect and represent their views. As a systems practitioner it is not enough to just reflect on your own worldview but also to reflect on the relationships you have with the other participants and to the complex situation itself.
If you want to take this aspect of systems thinking in practice further you should read Chris Blackmore’s book on Social Learning Systems and Communities of Practice that is one of four books associated with The Open University MSc in Systems Thinking in Practice.
You should now be able to:
- explain how to take multiple perspectives of a complex situation yourself and how to find out the perspectives of others involved in that complex situation.
Next week, you will look at the central ideas and practices that arose from the experiences and tradition of five key systems thinkers.
You can now go to Week 6.