What do these two men need to succeed in their work?

They need skills in two areas: 

Firstly, they need technical competence - to have a sharp saw, to know how to use it, how to keep it sharp, how to support the log, what the optimal speed vs pressure combination is etc. Secondly, they also need the social, or interpersonal, skills to work together, to co-ordinate their efforts etc. 

Every organisation consists of 2 systems: 

  1. the technical system (saw, log, sharpener, knowledge of logs and saws etc)
  2. the social system (the people who work together)

To succeed both systems must work well together.


The good news is that there are 3 foundational skills that can be learned and developed to build a healthy social system. These are the skills of listening, speaking and co-operating. All of our social system solutions teach, reinforce and build on these 3 skills. 

How we develop Social System Solutions:

Coaching circles

The social system consists of people working together in a variety of roles in the technical system.  Our approach focusses on the following three interconnecting elements:

  • the person of the worker - their skills (listen, speak, co-operate), personality, character, emotional intelligence, background etc
  • the role the worker occupies - the formal and informal expectations of the role, the skill requirements of the role, the design and construction of the role
  • the system of the organisation (from the immediate work team to the entire organisation) - its purpose or task, its organisational architecture, its underlying dynamics etc.

We work with clients to help them understand and work on all three interconnected elements. The focus of coaching might shift between the circles but we always have all three, and particularly their intersections, in mind.