The business environment is becoming increasingly complex; so too are the decisions today’s business leaders are being asked to make. Yet many decisions are made without a thorough knowledge of those complexities and without understanding their consequences. As a result, decisions far too often fail to produce the desired results. How can leaders make better decisions? By employing the concepts of “systems thinking.”
Systems thinking is based in the tenet of connection: nothing stands alone, it is always part of a system that influences how it behaves. Systems exist in nature (eco-systems); our body (the nervous system); and in business organizations (people and processes). To understand the true result of decisions, leaders must understand the connections and system in which the part exists. In business, for example, a decision to change suppliers can result in negative unintended consequences affecting ability to deliver, product quality, access to natural resources, transportation, and logistics. If leaders understand the full system that will be impacted by changing suppliers, they will have insight into the consequences and potential outcomes before making a final decision. This information and knowledge will help ensure the best possible decisions are made.
This one-day workshop is designed to immerse attendees in the basic concepts and applications of systems thinking in the business world. We’ll define systems that exist in the workplace, look at system archetypes, discuss how systems behave, and consider their counter intuitive behavior. The class format will include both discussion and experiential activities that will focus on application of systems thinking tools and analysis in the workplace. Participants will be asked to forecast the outcomes of decisions being considered in their own workplace.
- Systems, systems thinking and tenets defined
- Why we need systems thinking in business
- How systems behave
- Understanding systems structures and stability
- System archetypes
- Feedback and causality
- Counter intuitive system behavior
- Using systems thinking to develop foresight
- How system structure and behavior influence the outcomes and consequences of your decisions
Who Should Attend
- Organizational leaders and decision makers
- Strategists, supply chain professionals, operational managers, engineers, business unit/function leads
- Anyone interested in learning how to understand potential future outcomes and consequences of decisions
- Anyone interested in making better decisions
Upon completion, you will be able to:
- Understand how to use systems thinking to improve your decision making
- Identify systems at play in your organization and business unit
- Identify how today’s decisions can impact and shape the future
- Break down problems so they are manageable
About the Facilitator
Amy Oberg is a strategist and futurist who specializes in helping organizations better understand the emerging competitive environment and respond with effective, proactive strategies. With over 25 years of cumulative experience in strategic development and competitive and market analyses, her insights regarding emerging trends, threats and opportunities, future market conditions, systemic and technology disruptions have been sought out by a organizations in a wide variety of industries including aerospace, energy, telecommunications, transportation, consumer goods, retail, bio/pharma, real estate, and finance. She has served as corporate futurist for two of the nation’s largest corporations and provided insights to some of the world’s largest organizations. She is now Managing Partner of Future-In-Sight, LLC, a strategic advisory firm. Oberg holds a master’s degree in studies of the future; a bachelor’s degree in communications; and has completed the Program for Managers at Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Management.