It Needs to Be a True Collaboration
Social System Mapping is an art more than a science. It’s an art that entails a process that starts with understanding the purpose or aims of a collaborative/action/intentional network, learning what kinds of other- and systemic- awareness would amplify the network’s ability to learn and act together, translating those needs all the way down to the level of spreadsheets & data-flows so that you can easily gather the information that can help the network see itself better, and then turning all that noise into something that we can look at and explore together to tell a story and derive meaning. It’s a process that encompasses a really broad range of mental skills, which most of us don’t possess all of.
- One inspires and facilitates – listening carefully to people’s imaginations to determine what information is needed. This is an imaginative, people-y, facilitative type of thinker. We call this the Visionary.
- One deals with technical tools to gather and represent the needed information using online platforms. This is a tech-y, problem-solving, data-intensive type of thinker. We call this the Technician.
- One deals with training & systems-thinking & active inquiry to help others distill meaning from the information that has been gathered and represented. This is a conceptual, questioning, teacher-y type of thinker. We call this the SenseMaker.