We can and must transform systems in order to manage complex and large-scale societal challenges in time. The message was conveyed by Banny Bannerjee, Director of Stanford Changelabs, when he visited Vinnova. He presents "system acupuncture" which is a method for achieving the required adjustment.
Banny Bannerjee describes system acupuncture as a process tool for decision makers, organizations and the business community that can be used to find common solutions to problems that are large-scale and system-wide with high risk. As an example of complex problems, he mentions the threat to biodiversity and the climate crisis, but also the challenges of the welfare sector.
- System challenges need system solutions. Scale challenges need scale solutions. This calls for a completely new level of innovation, says Banny Bannerjee.
The starting point is to adopt a system perspective on the problem and not to weigh up the complexity. Measures should be implemented where they can have the greatest effect in the entire system and contribute to the adjustment required. To succeed, people and organizations in all parts of society need to contribute to the transition.
Six steps on how an organization can start working with system acupuncture:
- Embrace the complexity of the problem and adopt a system perspective
- Bring system innovation into your processes and daily routines
- Focus on system leadership - the nature of leadership needs to change
- Make structural changes towards a culture that promotes system innovations
- Create coordinated initiatives and common goals, missions, with several different actors
- Build platforms for scaled transformation