Systems Transformation



    • We think analytically and conceptually, questioning and challenging the status quo to identify issues, solve problems and design and implement effective processes across systems.
    • We approach situations with an attitude of continuous improvement.
    • We identify the root cause rather than focusing on symptoms.
    • We use existing organizational knowledge and experience to uncover lessons learned.


    • We understand that innovation—either drawn from other sectors or found in a ministry context—is the engine of creativity and we create a supportive environment to encourage it.
    • We approach problems as opportunities for system process improvement.
    • We encourage calculated risk-taking.
    • We celebrate success that comes from creative ideas.


    • We are visionaries that are always in tune with trends, issues and values that are shaping the future, and use a variety of information gathering techniques to be in touch with those trends and issues.
    • We emphasize sophisticated relationship building/management and influence communication skills to engage diverse individuals and publics in creating the future.
    • We evaluate the implications of emerging trends on current practice.


    • We take responsibility for ongoing improvement and take actions that continually renew the ministry of The Salvation Army in Canada & Bermuda.
    • We engage all pertinent stakeholders early in the conceptualization, framing and implementation of change.
    • We understand that change is a constant, and transformation cannot happen in a static environment.
    • We know all five LEADS domains are interdependent in creating change and enabling conditions to lead in the transformation of systems.

    LEADS in Action

    Reflection by Paul Carew

    The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken our world. So much of what we took for granted has been altered. While our greatest concern is to love our neighbours and prevent the spread of this virus, we are also endeavouring to create some sense of “normal” in our day-to-day lives. The ability to shop for groceries, send our children to school and worship as a church community are among the activities that have required creative and innovative thinking.  For leaders, these skills are an often-overlooked capability. In fact, in the past, they could be a detriment to those aspiring to leadership. However, in today’s everchanging world—sometimes described by the phrase VUCA: volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous—we clearly need to be creative and innovative.  Ultimately, the SYSTEMS TRANSFORMATION domain examines leadership from a much higher level and moves beyond the ability to manage oneself and others. Leaders need to be able to address concerns at a level beyond their own locus of control and see the view from the “balcony.” They need to consider how their decisions and actions might impact the entire organization. 

    Often change is precipitated by outside agencies and circumstances, although rarely at the level of a global pandemic. At other times, the need for change is created from within an organization. Perhaps the changes are driven by the need for an organization to move away from previous practices and make a significant move forward.  How are our leaders positioned for the change that is coming? Do we, as leaders, demonstrate systems and critical thinking, and encourage and support innovation? Do we, as an organization, orient ourselves strategically to the future, as well as champion and orchestrate change? 

    We’ve seen in previous domains how Salvation Army officers and employees are implementing what they learned from the LEADS learning series, which were offered across the territory, and how it expanded their leadership capabilities. 

    While the pandemic has had an impact on recent learning opportunities, we continue to develop our leaders by sharing the LEADS Leadership Capability Framework. 


    LEADS is only the beginning. Check out our in-house and partner development programs to take your leadership capabilities further.