That’s what I see missing from so much leadership training: the human-ness, the messiness, the not-quite-having-it-all-togetherness. When I work with my clients, I start from a place of how things are in the real world. Theoretical knowledge is essential, but if life experience has taught me anything, it’s that no amount of training or education will click until you can get comfortable being uncomfortable. With proper guidance, vulnerability can be an incredible tool in driving forward and realizing your greatest ambitions.
But nobody wants to go it alone or without a roadmap. And so, I give you: systems. Systems are the solution to every business challenge, whether solving a problem, righting an injustice, or creating something new. Since 1996 I have been helping clients unleash their potential with systems-thinking. You could say that I’m a little bit obsessed, a little bit nerdy when it comes to systems.
Tana Plewes, MA, Systems Analyst, Business Coach, & Author
Systems and systems-thinking started for me as a young child, looking through an encyclopedic set of graphic overlays of the human body. How stunning, these overlapping layers of information, each system entirely different than the last. I was spellbound by how it all fits together and how the human body could not function if any layer were missing.
Those transparent overlays I studied in grade school taught me to see the world in layers. What may look like a problem on the surface could actually be a symptom of a deeper issue. Later, I could apply this thinking to business, my relationships, and my service in the community.
My professional life has taken me all over the map: from retail in rural Saskatchewan to proving my salt as a skipper in the Pacific Northwest, where I gained operational experience in marine transportation, search and rescue operations, and fisheries enforcement.
I incorporated my first business at eighteen years old, selling helium balloons displays for events. Decades later, I started a manufacturing company with my husband Randy, leaving a position managing $50 million in property and assets for the Steveston Harbour Authority for the next adventure.
Along the way, I applied systems thinking to the challenges in front of me. I hadn’t been a strong student in high school; I found success in harnessing my own strategies for breaking down complex accountabilities into bite-sized steps. I began building structures for the organizations I worked with and for, including contributions for a client that helped earn them a Governor General’s Award. Systems became my superpower.
From real-life applications of systems thinking and the data aggregated from those experiences, I wrote The Possibility Process. It’s a guide for humans like me – people who may not fit into one box or another, who trust their intuition, and who value the importance of their people in making lasting, positive changes in their organizations.
The Discovery Centre for Entrepreneurship (DCE) is where I pour thirty years of experience into helping my clients go after what feels significant and meaningful to them. With The Possibility Process as a theoretical guide, we build a trusting, safe environment where every participant feels seen and understood.
Just because you want a specific outcome for your life or business doesn’t mean you’re actually ready to make it happen in reality. We have a self-assessment quiz to find out if this kind of work is suited for you
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