Creating positive

Systems Leadership Theory* (SLT) is an integrated set of organisational concepts, models and tools concerned with how people come together to achieve a productive purpose. It provides a framework for developing, analysing and working with propositions about organisations, management and behaviour.

Core Concepts

For any society, organisation or group to prosper there needs to be productive social cohesion – agreed arrangements about what is acceptable and/or productive behaviour. At its core, SLT relies on understanding the 6 principles of human behaviour that underpin all social interaction and influence all that we do and say in creating social cohesion.

1. People need to be able to predict their environments.

2. People are not machines.

3. People’s behaviour is based on Six Universal Values.

4. People form cultures based upon mythologies.

5. Change is a result of dissonance.

6. It is better to build relationships on the basis of authority rather than power.

“The fundamental work of a leader is to create, maintain and improve a group of people so that they achieve objectives and continue to do so over time.”

Dr Ian Macdonald
*© Macdonald Associates Consulting Pty Ltd

Domains of Work

Systems Leadership Theory* categorises work into three domains – technical, social and commercial – that can be used to help think about how the organisation is structured, roles designed, and systems designed.

Organisations need to be effective in ALL three domains to operate effectively. For example, it is not sufficient to have a well-run and technically excellent organisation that cannot control its costs. Similarly, we may have excellent technical and commercial arrangements, but no one stays long or uses their capability because people are treated so poorly.

Understanding and Organising Work

One of the signs of a healthy organisation is the clarity with which members can answer the following 3 questions:
1. What am I meant to be doing?
2. How am I doing?
3. What is my future?

Application of Systems Leadership, including Levels of Work and Team Process models, can help people understand their work and support the creation of a constructive culture.

An Introduction to Systems Leadership* Theory Whitepaper

Download An Introduction to Systems Leadership* Theory Whitepaper for an in-depth explanation about how this framework can create, improve, and sustain positive organisations and facilitate:

• Understanding and Organising Work
• Understanding and Organising Culture
• Bridging Processes between Organising the Work and Organising the Culture

Key Contacts

Phillip Bartlett

Phillip has more than 35 years’ experience in Organisational Consulting in Australia and internationally and has been a part of Response since its establishment over 20 years ago. He is also the President of Response Consulting LLC based in Nevada. Phillip’s consulting experience has included participating in and managed consulting projects across all aspects of organisational improvement with extensive experience in the mining industry.

Emma Trumper

Emma Trumper

Emma leads the team running the behind-the-scenes operations for our business services, consulting, and Research Businesses. She is experienced in leading teams face-to-face and remotely, has demonstrated experience in program delivery, budget and project management, and financial oversight. Emma works closely with the Systems Leadership Development Association providing support for their work.

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