Compass Navigation Current Page, Actions. Links to: Problems, Awareness, Ideas

In systems innovation, it’s impossible to have prior knowledge of the ‘best’ idea on which to act. After developing their awareness, innovators must carefully and mindfully generate, evaluate, and select ideas that they believe will lead to best addressing the ecology of problems.

Actions are ideas that have been scrutinized, assessed, and evaluated. The criteria used to assess actions can include:

  • The ability to address the ‘ecology of problems’. Often the actions are an ‘ecology of actions’, as no one action can address the full range of problems.
  • Short-term, low-cost solutions coupled with long-term, more engaged solutions.
  • The ability to learn about the system to generate a feedback loop. 
  • Considers risks, unintended consequences (for the firm and society), roadblocks, and interconnections among actions.

Systems innovators seek not only to change the system, but also to change themselves and their relationship to the system in the process. Learning through actions is particularly important in complex, dynamic environments.

Actions are based on ideas for how to solve problems. Actions may be new products and services, or also more symbolic changes, such as changes to identity and discourse. Actions are often a series of probes and require partners and collaborators.

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