Whole System Positive Change

We’ve spent almost six years building the Whole System Model of Business; more recently, we focused on building a model for Organizational Development (OD) & Change (OCM). This led to the creation of the Lifecycle of Positive Change™. The next big challenge was to connect the two models. We’re thrilled to share the result with you!

On the left-hand side of the diagram, you’ll see a top-level schematic of the ROUNDMAP Whole System Model. This part of ROUNDMAP consists of 3 structural pillars:

  1. Progression – How are we developing?
  2. Positioning – Where do we play and how do we plan to win?
  3. Positive Core – What do we value most about ourselves?

On the right-hand side of the diagram, you’ll find a schematic of the ROUNDMAP Lifecycle of Positive Change™. This section of ROUNDMAP consists of three stages:

  1. Change Onward™ – What performs?
  2. Change Inward™ – What gives life to the organization?
  3. Change Upward™ – What elevates?

The Lifecycle of Positive Change™ is based on the practice of Appreciative Inquiry (AI), first introduced in 1987 by David Cooperrider c.s.

What is AI?

Contrary to traditional deficit-based change programs that focus on what went wrong (deficiencies, failures, gaps, constraints, and problems), AI is a strength-based approach, focusing on what gives life to the organization by exploring what went right.

This approach to organizational change is wholly aligned with Peter Drucker’s most insightful words on Organizational Development (OD) and Change:


Change Challenge

You may have noticed the words Change Challenge in between the frameworks in the diagram. It indicates that the current organization isn’t the right fit for the present or predicted conditions. We need to formulate a response. A change challenge can be forced, for instance, due to a disruption of technology, or self-emposed: “We want to move into new markets”.

But where do we start, and what relevant interdependencies and interrelationships should we consider before trying to implement a solution?

The Lifecycle of Positive Change follows three straightforward steps, a whole system quest, starting with what worked best in the past to build our positive core and and how to elevate from it:

  1. Exploring strengths (co-intelligence > generating),
  2. Aligning strengths (co-design > formulating),
  3. Leveraging strengths (co-creation > implementing).

After involving the whole organization in exploring the organization’s strengths, a cross-section of the organization needs to make sense of the exploration: What do we want to keep (consistency) and what can we do in response to the challenge (novelty)? 

Next, we collectively design an alignment of relevant strengths to elevate the organization. And finally, the Advisory Team and Leadership Team work together to leverage the new alignment of strengths (transition)

The entire process is based on self-organization and taking accountability for action.

Recursive Models

The beauty of the ROUNDMAP framework, the organizational development part and the change part, is that discoveries in one model can be translated to the other, using the Positive Core as the common factor.

For instance,

  • By asking, “What is changing?” and “What’s the best future you can imagine?” we’re collectively creating a shared Vision;
  • By asking, “What do I value most?” we’re building a common sense of Purpose;
  • By asking, “What will it take to get us there?” we are collectively strategizing our way to the future;
  • And by appreciating our current Mission by asking, “What led us here?” and “What is my high point?”, we agree on what we value most about our individual and collective contributions.

Feel free to contact us for more information. We’re here to help.

More to explorer

The Course of Action: Know When to Turn

While briefly considering taking an online short course at MIT Sloan, Leadership in an Exponentially Changing World, I realized that any course


Lifecycle of Positive Change™

We’re a strong advocate of Positive Change. However, we noticed that the 4-D cycle (right), used in Appreciative Inquiry (A) interventions, may

Introducing Change Onward!

In our experience, dealing with large-scale change initiatives, meaningful change can only be achieved by involving the whole system in the process

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.