Carole is a Thinking Partner. She’s been part of GameShift from the start, and she brings her genius for seeing and working with systems thinking to everything she does,
Carole is always exploring, which is one of the things that drew her to join GameShift. “It’s a great community. I love the open space of it, and the talented people, some really deep and powerful conversations. A group of people who know that the future cannot just be more of the same.”
Carole works on some of the most ambitious projects going. One project she’s working on is to design low carbon energy systems of the future. This is a government funded project with an emphasis on design, integration and replicability: it has the potential to be “a beacon”. It is something that could make a big contribution to change because it is deliberately and rigorously about showing the way.
Showing the way by being a beacon speaks to something really important in Carole’s motivation. Working on the cusp of environmental science and society for a long time Carole has seen highly technical projects and initiatives developed and thrust out into the human system with little thought to how they land, how they get into use. Many such stories are tales of frustrated possibility, where people don’t respond in the way imagined, and they serve to highlight the critical importance of whole system thinking.
Carole is a Thinking Partner for anyone seeking to shift their system. “I don’t want to work in service of shoring up the existing paradigm, I want to help give birth to the new paradigm”. She is someone who helps organisations to see past the boundaries they often put around their systems, and she remains hopeful.
“The COVID virus”, she says, ”has swept past geopolitical boundaries. It is visceral and real and people are saying ‘Now I get it’”. People are experiencing the connectedness. Organisations are starting to “get this” too: “Organisations are becoming aware that they are porous sub-systems of larger systems: team, organisation, sector, economy, society, living system. These are nested systems” she says, “none can stand apart in a pretence of being unaffected by the other, or unconcerned at the fate of the other”.
Carole has built a practice out of working with people about systems; educating and coaching individuals, teams and organisations to help them to see, understand and work with their patterns of connection, “because that is how the world is”. She has long used simulations to help clients see and understand systems effects. This work came to a new level through the creation of Systems Insights. “This has developed a long way” Carole says, “it’s been a gift to use it in new ways with new people, and to evolve fresh possibilities for individuals and organisations through the work”. When you take systems insights out to clients now, you see “a much greater level of general understanding of, and appetite for systems thinking and the need for joined up strategic action”.
Systems awareness has never been more important – nor has it held quite such a central place in leadership development and organisational awareness. If you are exploring complex change in your organisation, and across your organisation’s connections to the world around it, Carole may well be exactly the Thinking Partner you need at your side.