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ABLe Change Simple Rules

Simple Rules are based on the idea that individuals across a community - from CEOs to family members - can begin to act together as a cohesive unit towards positive change when they follow a shared set of guiding principles or “simple rules” (Eoyang & Holladay, 2013, Adaptive Action, Stanford University Press: CA).

All of us follow an internalized set of simple rules that guide our decisions and behavior, whether we acknowledge it or not. Some simple rules can help us act in ways that support shared goals, such as the simple rule of “Put kids first.” Other simple rules can actually get in the way of us reaching our goals and learning for improvement, such as the simple rule of “Just make it through the day.”

What simple rules are guiding the collective behaviors in your community or system?  

After reflecting on which local simple rules are helping and hindering progress, communities can intentionally develop new sets of simple rules to shape collective behaviors promoting systems change goals.

The ABLe Change Framework proposes six simple rules that communities can use to collectively pursue systems change. In combination, these simple rules can transform how community stakeholders work and learn together.


 Download a printer-friendly PDF of the Simple Rules for Systems Change.

The content on this website is intended to complement ABLe Change Training and as such, the target audience is participants in ABLe Change offerings.  Materials are copyrighted by Michigan State University. You may not distribute, copy or otherwise reproduce any portion of these materials without permission. 

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