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Leadership Matters – Municipal and State Systems Maps

HOW TO UNDERSTAND A SYSTEMS MAP

The maps which appear on our website were created by public sector leaders in response to a workplace issue.

The maps were created by groups of people who are getting results they would like to improve or change. Building the systems map together  helped the leaders better understand how the current system is working from multiple perspectives before making assumptions about what needs to be fixed or changed.

The variables which appear on a map are dynamic they are always going up or down, increasing or decreasing.  It is advisable when creating a systems map to describe the variables in a neutral way (for example; level of conflict versus positive or negative conflict). This makes it easy to interpret the map over time since a change in one of the variables can cause the other variables to move dynamically in the opposite direction. The highest point of leverage is the variable the group selects after analysis as the best place in the systems map to take action and invest resources. The goal is generally to change the outcomes the system is currently producing.

Working as a group to build the systems map helps the team to better understand why they are getting the results they are getting. This strategic process encourages the group to identify the highest point of leverage for change in the system and invest resources at that point to achieve the desired outcomes.


 Click on the following “Why” Questions to Review the Corresponding Systems Map (PDF)

Civic Engagement: Redefining the Modern Town Hall Meeting

Why can’t we gain participation from all of our community members? [coming soon]

Why, despite best efforts, has it been difficult for us to engagement/mobilize our parents and community in advocating for our districts educational priorities?

Why, despite legislation and other efforts to improve public participation, is public engagement in the land use and development process so ineffective?

Why does a small, vocal minority have influence over decisions, staff, and resources?

Customer Service Internal and External

Why do we struggle to provide excellent services consistently to our end users, and how does this struggle impact our image and relationships with the community?

Why is the quality of customer service not where we want it to be?

Why do we struggle to meet internal customer / end user expectations?

Why have we been unable to meet the current citizen expectations?

Why do we struggle to move projects forward effectively, while still providing responsive, transparent service to our citizens?

Why do we struggle to complete our work in alignment with original customer expectations?

Why are we unable to communicate timely, consistent information to our end users?

Governance Systems Structures and Partnerships

Why does our current approach to societal problems result in run away complexity, disengaged citizens, and the rising cost of getting anything done?

Why does conflict become entrenched?

Why are we unable to work collectively and effectively between departments?

Why are certain segments of the organization resistant to change?

Why is the office of senior leadership & administration disorganized?

Land Use, Zoning and Planning

Why is it so difficult for cities to protect historical assets?

Why, despite legislation and other efforts to improve public participation, is public engagement in the land use and development process so ineffective?

Resources and Budgets

Why Don’t Cities & Towns Make Full Use of Government Grants?

Why is there no agreed upon process to deal with additional council work/expectations which are outside the approved budget?

Why is it so difficult to get budget support for road maintenance and preventative investments?

Why do we continue to struggle with healthcare costs?

Why does the Public Works department always seem to be stretched so thin and not viewed as being as productive as it could be?

Why do we have a low quality budget process?

Schools and Education

Why do we continue to struggle to provide “common functions” cooperatively between the city and school department?

Why, despite best efforts, has it been difficult for us to engagement/mobilize our parents and community in advocating for our districts educational priorities?

Why is there a loss of instruction due to teachers being absent?