The Agile Strategy Lab Podcast

The Challenge of Unlocking Interlocking Systems

June 15, 2021

Our modern world is full of large, complex systems - so many, in fact, that we often don't notice them until something goes wrong, or we're trying to work within a system ourselves to bring change about. Those systems aren't discrete entities - they overlap and interlock, adding even more complexity. In this episode, we talk about what agility might look like in the context of a large institution trying to accomplish a specific mission-oriented goal, and how a set of interlocking complex systems make that agility difficult. The sector is higher education, but the underlying ideas are applicable to many sectors. Our guest in exploring these ideas is Jim Woodell, who works with higher education institutions as they pursue what’s called in that world “engagement” - the way in which the university reaches out beyond its own walls to the community or region around them.