Darcy Winslow, President & Founder, Academy for… | Gagen MacDonald

Insights & Events / Let Go & Lead / LG&L Podcast

Darcy Winslow, President & Founder, Academy for Systems Change

May 23, 2019

Darcy Winslow is proof that one person can spark massive change. After a 20-year career with Nike, culminating in creating and launching its sustainability business strategy, Darcy now brings her expertise in leading large-scale systems change to others. As President & Founder of the Academy for Systems Change, she works with leaders around the world to drive systemic change across their networks and ecosystems.

In this episode of Let Go & Lead, Darcy shares how she shaped her professional identity after leaving Nike, how creative orientation is key to systems thinking and why it’s important to delineate between the complicated and the complex.

Episode discussion guide – Systems Start with Self

Continue the conversation with others, or take the time for personal reflection, using the below episode discussion guide.

  1. At Nike, Darcy was told she committed career suicide when she went from a role with a big budget and big team to an individual role with no budget and no team. How did she define success in her new parameters?
  2. Make two lists: one for how you define your job and one for how you define your work. How much of your identity is tied to your job versus your work?
  3. Reflect on one of your last problem solving sessions. If you had asked “what could we create?” instead of “how can we solve this?” would your outcome have changed? How?
  4. Is your organization complex or complicated? Can shared leadership exist in a “complicated” world?
  5. Darcy trains for a new sport every year, which informs her work in systems thinking. What passions or rituals do you have that make you uniquely suited to the work you so every day?
  6. Think of a time when one of your mental models or beliefs got in your way. Why? What will you do next time this happens?
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