“Our board members often have their own bit of the system to sort out and prefer to break complex problems down into the smaller parts that they are more comfortable with, that are within their comfort zone. Though that might only result in one piece of the system working well."
"The Visual Dialogue session shifted the quality of the conversation and using the picture encouraged them to think more systemically about local issues the process changed the level of questions they were asking, and so challenged their thinking to a new level."
"It enabled the board to think and talk more systemically, beyond their own personal points of view and level of thinking, about wider issues and how these impact each other."
"It created space for the board to test their level of consensus on partnerships, and go beyond personal values to consider the greater good. They could explore the ethical dilemmas involved and get beneath the commercial and transactional focus of their role, down to a transformational one where they were getting an idea about if they had shared values and talking about values based leadership. Ultimately the session was as much about about building relationships and uncovering personal values as it was about solving operational issues."
"The quality of the conversation was more strategic, fluid and creative, it stopped them getting into detail too quickly. The Big Picture kept the conversations from getting too operational, too quickly, and forced broader thinking, it kept them strategic. It stopped them deconstructing the “problem” down to something they can control and manage."
"The big picture allowed me to keep them uncomfortable in a non-threatening way. It kept them in a place of looking at the interdependencies. The big picture showed most of the system, so the board could see they are facing an intractable problem, which can’t be solved with an action plan, and there is no commercial solution currently. So it encouraged them taking a broader view while keeping it personal - bringing alive the things they have to consider and deliver on."
"The Big Picture was like an interdependence map - you can’t look at one isolated element without seeing connections and consequences. Everything is there in the picture - it showed the complexities of the environment in one place - which papers can’t do. And it helped in understanding the complexity in a way they couldn’t have done reading board papers. It stimulated thinking about potential consequences out side of our normal boundaries as it can be difficult to move out of your own familiar lens/way of understand the world. The conversation raises consciousness that you can’t take actions in isolation, it stops you thinking that you can acts on things alone. “ If you make a decision here- it makes you think- what’s the impact there”. It stopped disrupted their linear thinking by bringing to life all the complexities involved in running the trust."
"Having a picture made it easier for people to declare openly that they didn’t understand “that” [pointing at something specific in the picture]."
"The Visual Dialogue session allowed the board to challenge each other and opened up a different conversation and a different space to think in. The Big Picture didn’t provide answers, but it forced systemic thinking.”
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