Chapter 12. Whole-System Discovery

MOST OF THE SECTION on discovery has been written from the perspective of a third-party approach, the third party being the consultant who is doing the data collection, analysis, and feedback. While this is the most typical expectation clients have of us, and also the way we have traditionally seen the consultant role, there is an alternative.

The option is to involve the whole client system much more directly in redefining the problem, naming a desired future, outlining alternative actions, and deciding how to proceed. This is a first-party or whole-system strategy, and the methodology has come a long way in the last ten years. Many consultants have adopted the whole-system approach and redefined their role to ...

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