Systems Thinking · Systems Thinking - Iceberg

Hello World!

My belief (since I don’t know when) was that I couldn’t write. I didn’t have the talent. Even when I competed up to National Schools Press Conference as a newswriter when I was in high school, my belief that “I am not a good writer” remained.

Last year (2016), I had the opportunity to be a part of an executive coaching program. We were introduced to different leadership and coaching tools, which can help us achieve our greatest potential – the highest version of our true self. One of the Systems Thinking tools we used was the Iceberg model. The tool tells us that the events or results we see now only show the tip of the iceberg. It all starts with a belief (a mindset), supported by certain structures (practices, policies, etc) that shape observable behaviors over time (can be upward/downward/oscillating trend), which forms the end result. The Iceberg tool allows us to understand better why a particular event happened or why we ended up with a certain result. Moreover, it allows us also to see what things we can change, what beliefs we need to shift, what things/structures we need to put in place, in order to have a different result.

See how I mapped my Iceberg below:


Our beliefs shape our actions, are actions give us our results. Since my belief was I was not a good writer, I did not practice writing. I did not do anything to help me improve my skill. I dreaded writing papers when I was in college and often crammed (a few hours before the deadline), resulting to not so good grades. I did not even write for leisure. Even when everyone I knew started writing their own blogs, I did not dare make my own.

Now I want to have a different result. I shifted my mental model from “I can’t write” to “I can write”. Writing can help me fulfill my purpose. I will practice it more so that my skill improves. What do I want to write about? I want to write about my experiences balancing motherhood and career (and all the other things I want to do). I want to write about leadership concepts that can be applied, not just at work, but to our daily lives. I want to share bursts of creativity when I make DIYs or sewing projects. I want to write about improving my self and my quality of life. I want to use writing as a means to learn, share, and inspire.

See how the Iceberg tool helped me shift my belief? That shift from “I can’t write” to “I can write” can make all the difference. The Iceberg tool can be applied to any result you want to achieve – do you want to lose weight? do you want to breastfeed your child? do you want to have an N amount of savings or investment? do you want people in your office come on time? do you want to increase your revenue? and so on. I will be writing more examples of how I apply the Iceberg in other facets of my life. (Want download a copy of the Iceberg image/template? Check here.)

I can write. This is my first blog entry. Hello world!