- We are dealing with an insurance claim at our home (a 50 year old retaining wall and deck collapsed) and we are trying to get it settled. The insurance company has been amazingly efficient. Our mortgage lender has been impossible!
- We just got a boat (a birthday present from my sister!) and it has to be registered, insured, licensed. I understand a sales tax also has to be paid. This means the motor vehicle department and the IRS. And then there is a tune-up and a required Coast Guard safety course.
- School is beginning in two weeks for my high school sophomore and there are school supplies to purchase and an impacted course schedule to adjust. This means a visit to the office supply store and guidance counselors.
- The American healthcare debate and the American political theater...what more to say?
What does the preparation for this kind of systems engagement look like for you? How do you keep it simple, clear, in perspective, productive? How do you hold people (usually un-empowered workers) in the system accountable for their responsibility to the system? What's it like knowing you have a miniscule presence in a gargantuan system? If we all individually work within the system and the system appears to work, does this mean the system is functional? What power or responsibility do we have to impact (or fix? or streamline? or eliminate?) systems that are no longer useful or too unwieldy to be effective?
And what are you aware of when you consider the systems you have created in your own life? Or organization? Or relationship? Or team? What do you notice when your non-profit organization's board begins to look so weighted down in muck like the IRS system? What do you notice when your marriage begins to sound like an endless chain of voice mail and robot sounding automated voice prompts (push #1 for accounts, push #2 for payments, etc.)? When you notice your system has become [fill in the descriptor of your choice here], what next?
I am geting ready for my week. Off to races. Into the battle. Ready to be patient. Ready to smile and be kind. Ready to complete forms, write checks, gather and present papers. Ready to manage my frustration and celebrate the moments of surprise. And all the while I am going to observe the systems I encounter. Will you join me?
I will report back!
Enjoy the week.