Toolbox for the Systems Change Mindset

Navigate the Systems Change Toolbox

About the Toolbox

This toolbox is for you — our network of regional collaboratives and workforce practitioners, who are addressing workforce challenges and seeking ways to achieve greater impact in your communities.

But how do you go about systems change? We know your community faces complex, perpetually changing circumstances and confronts different choices, priorities, and webs of connections among systems. That’s why this toolbox is a guide to — not a prescription for — systems change.

This version of the toolbox covers the foundations of systems change. In future updates, find additional tools for addressing more advanced stages of systems change. We invite you to bookmark the toolbox and return to it in the coming months for more resources in areas such as evaluation, data strategies, and policy.

And we want to hear from you — send your toolbox feedback and systems change success stories to

How is the toolbox organized?


  • Broadly. With five principal insights — not formal rules — about the nature of systems change and how you can influence it. >>

  • Flexibly. With a four-phased approach that you can apply to solve problems at the systems level. >>

  • Practically. With information provided at each phase to facilitate the practical work of system thinking no matter where you are along the systems change continuum. As you explore the phases listed below, scroll down each page to access links to applicable tools and resources. Visit the tools page for a complete list of tools and the resources page for a complete list resources (additional reading, case studies, etc.). You can also filter your search by phase and topic.


Who is the toolbox for?


  • Workforce intermediaries, workforce practitioners, and workforce funder collaboratives.

  • Local civic and community leaders and policymakers.

  • Anyone else with a stake in building a more equitable and prosperous workforce and community.


What does the toolbox help you achieve?


  • Learn about systems change and gain insights from across the National Fund regional collaborative network.

  • Develop a systems-thinking mindset that may inform the work you’re doing locally.

  • Access resources, tools, and more information as you engage in systemic decision-making and systems change in your community.


Ready to engage in systems change? Get started now!


This toolbox is made possible with support from Ballmer Group and JPMorgan Chase & Co.