Systems convening – the challenges

The challenges for those using systems convening include reliance on others to deliver, difficulty measuring the contribution, potential isolation and vulnerability to leadership changes.

There is a need to better understand the skills and attributes required and recognise what support should be provided.

Challenges for individuals working in systems convening include:

  • Leading by influence not by power or control
  • Reliance on others to deliver but lack of success may reflect on those working in system convening
  • Benefits of their activity may be long term but pressure may be to demonstrate their immediate value
  • Lack of clarity on how to measure the benefits of system convening
  • Often a low profile, more effective may mean less visible
  • Vulnerable to political or leadership changes
  • Easily misunderstood, unrecognised or undervalued
  • Burn-out or moved on before benefits achieved
  • Lonely path and may rarely seek out others working in system convening
  • Ensuring attend to self-care and support
  • Rarely is the activity of systems convening in the job title or description
  • Balance persistent optimism with need for critical reflection and realistic assessment

Insight to these challenges may help individuals seek support and systems provide it more readily.

See case studies for examples of system convening in practice, patient led convening in Maternity Voice Partnership.

See systems convening and systems convening activities for more information.

Systems convening help is also included in practical tools and support.

Read the glossary

This guidance is primarily offered to support system leaders. Please send all feedback here.