Who We Are

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Our Mission

We empower employees and organizations with research-based tools and processes that prevent burnout, reduce turnover, and improve individual and organizational well-being.

Our Vision

Organizations thrive.

Our Operating Principles

  • Everybody is doing the best they can with what they have and what they know.
  • The best way forward moves us toward what we want, not away from what we fear.
  • A challenge is best solved by the person or group most affected.
  • The truth lies in the combined perspective and experiences of all stakeholders.
  • Purposefully aligning behaviors, values, and principles allows effective leadership to emerge.

Our Approach

When working with organizations, Human Systems starts with one assumption: everybody in the organization is doing the best they can with what they have and what they know. Therefore, if an organization is experiencing challenges – unresolved conflict, employee engagement issues, turnover or widespread burnout – it doesn’t necessarily indicate incompetence or lack of capability in the employees. Instead, it is more likely these challenges indicate a lack of knowledge and resources.

Scientific research shows that the key to employee engagement and well-being is in a multi-level approach: interventions on the organizational, relational, and individual levels.

Human Systems works with organizations on multi-level leadership solutions that are generated by the people who understand the needs of the organization best: the employees. The approach is based on the leadership principles developed to guide organizations, relationships, and individuals; these principles comprise the Human Systems Leadership Model – the first scientifically developed leadership model that uses systems thinking.

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S. Colby Peters, PhD, LCSW

Colby – knowledge broker, coach, and strategist – has over 10 years of social work and human services experience in operations, development, technology and design, program development, and organizational assessment. In addition, she has experience in policy research, development, and analysis, to include research and analysis of Maryland’s disability policies for Heather Mizeur’s gubernatorial campaign in 2014. She has presented her work at multiple conferences and classes and has shared her talents with many organizations in both professional and volunteer capacities.

Colby completed her PhD in social work at the University of Maryland Baltimore School of Social Work, where she also received her Master’s degree. Colby developed the first scientific multi-level leadership model and assessment tool rooted in social work values, created for human services, and applicable to all organizations. Colby’s passion for organizational and leadership skill development stems from her belief – supported by research and experience – that with the right communication skills, the application of social work-centered principles of leadership, and some creativity and open-mindedness, any organization can realize their goals while making the most of available time and resources.

Most recently, Colby has developed Human Systems Mindfulness, a branch of Human Systems that focuses on facilitating awareness, acceptance, compassion, and balance in organizations, individuals, and families. Learn more about Human Systems Mindfulness services. Having personally experienced the power of mindfulness, Colby pursued continuing education to complete a mindfulness professional certificate and explore practical applications of mindfulness in children and families. Her professional mindfulness services are a natural extension of her work with organizations, which focuses on bringing awareness to systemic patterns to create more choice for positive change.

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Human Systems Emotion Wheel Positive Affect

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