Systems Thinking Training & Workshops

Systems Thinking for Organisational Change Workshop

Organisations today are increasingly experiencing the need for change and adaptation to remain competitive and effective. But how do you ensure that the changes you implement are not just a temporary fix but a long-term solution to systemic problems? This is where Systems Thinking comes into play, and understanding its principles can be a game-changer for your organisation.

Background

System thinking helps us see organisational change from a new perspective

Systems Thinking is an approach that helps you see the forest for the trees. Instead of focusing on individual parts of your organisation in isolation, Systems Thinking requires you to look at the bigger picture, to understand how those parts interrelate, and how processes work over time. It’s about recognising patterns and cycles rather than static snapshots, and it’s a valuable tool for organisational change because it helps you identify the underlying structures that dictate how your organisation behaves.

You might be familiar with the saying, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” This encapsulates the essence of Systems Thinking. When you consider your organisation as a complex system, you can begin to see how changes in one area can ripple throughout the entire system. For instance, a change in your customer service protocol may affect not just the customer service department but also sales, marketing, and even product development. Systems Thinking helps you anticipate these effects and plan for them accordingly.

Moreover, Systems Thinking encourages you to move away from short-term fixes and instead focus on long-lasting solutions. In the context of organisational change, this means designing strategies that address the root causes of issues, not just their symptoms. By understanding the feedback loops, delays, and non-linear relationships within your system, you can create more resilient and adaptive organisations.

Session focus

Avoid common mistakes with organisational change through the lens of system thinking

This intensive 1-day workshop is designed to immerse you in the principles and practice of Systems Thinking specifically for driving organisational change. The key focus of the workshop is to equip you with the tools and perspectives needed to understand and apply Systems Archetypes in your organisation. These archetypes are recurring patterns of behaviour that can help you diagnose and address systemic issues effectively.

During the workshop, you will engage with a variety of learning methods, including interactive discussions, case studies, and group exercises. The goal is to not only impart knowledge but also to facilitate a hands-on experience where you can apply Systems Thinking concepts to real-world scenarios. You’ll learn to identify leverage points within your organisation where small changes can lead to significant improvements.

Additionally, the workshop will delve into the common pitfalls that organisations encounter when implementing change. You will explore how to avoid these traps by using Systems Thinking to develop a more comprehensive understanding of your organisation’s dynamics. This approach encourages you to think in terms of relationships, patterns, and context, which is crucial for successful and sustainable change management.

Target audience

Empowering decision makers and change creators with a new set of skills

This workshop is intended for anyone who plays a role in leading, managing, or implementing change within an organisation. Whether you are a senior executive, a middle manager, or a team leader, Systems Thinking can enhance your ability to steer your organisation through the complexities of change. It is particularly beneficial for:

  • Leaders who want to foster a more holistic approach to problem-solving and decision-making within their teams.
  • Change managers seeking to build resilience and adaptability into their change initiatives.
  • Process engineers and business analysts looking to understand the wider implications of their work on organisational performance.
  • Human resources professionals aiming to design interventions that align with organisational goals and culture.
  • Project managers who need to manage interdependencies and ensure their projects contribute positively to the overall system.

If you are involved in strategic planning, operational improvement, or simply want to understand how to navigate change more effectively, this workshop is for you.

Learning Objectives

A new suite of system thinking tools to apply to your organisational change approach

Throughout the course of this workshop, our aim is to meet the following key learning objectives:

  1. Understand the Basics of Systems Thinking: You’ll gain a solid grounding in what Systems Thinking entails, including its history, key concepts, and how it differs from traditional analysis.
  2. Recognise and Apply Systems Archetypes: You’ll learn to identify common Systems Archetypes, such as ‘Fixes that Fail’ and ‘Shifting the Burden’, and understand how they can inform your approach to organisational change.
  3. Identify Leverage Points: You’ll discover how to find and utilise points within your system where small, well-placed actions can lead to significant improvements.
  4. Develop Strategies for Long-Term Change: You’ll be equipped to create strategies that address the root causes of problems rather than just their symptoms, ensuring sustainable change.
  5. Implement Systems Thinking in Your Organisation: You’ll leave the workshop with actionable insights on how to apply Systems Thinking to your specific organisational context, promoting more effective change initiatives.

Each learning objective is designed to build upon the last, ensuring that by the end of the day you have a comprehensive understanding of Systems Thinking and how it can be used to foster meaningful organisational change.

Workshop Content

What’s included in this session on system thinking

During this workshop, we will cover a wide range of topics related to Systems Thinking and organisational change. Here is a summary and an itemised list of what you can expect:

  1. Introduction to Systems Thinking: We will begin with an overview of Systems Thinking, its origins, and how it has evolved over time. This will provide context for the rest of the workshop and highlight the importance of this approach in today’s complex organisational landscapes.
  2. Understanding Systems Archetypes: We will delve into the common patterns of behaviour that recur in organisations, known as Systems Archetypes. You will learn how to recognise these patterns and use them to diagnose systemic issues.
  3. Mapping and Modelling: You will gain skills in mapping and modelling systems, an invaluable tool for visualising the interrelationships and dynamics at play. This will help you communicate complex ideas more effectively and design interventions with a higher chance of success.
  4. Leverage Points: We will explore the concept of leverage points within systems and how to identify and act upon them. Understanding where to apply changes in the system to achieve the maximum impact with minimal effort can transform your change initiatives.
  5. Strategic Planning with Systems Thinking: You will learn how to incorporate Systems Thinking into your strategic planning process, ensuring that your long-term plans are robust, adaptable, and aligned with your organisation’s systemic nature.
  6. Case Studies: Real-world examples will be used to illustrate how Systems Thinking has been successfully applied in various organisational settings, providing you with practical insights that you can relate to your own experiences.
  7. Interactive Exercises: Hands-on exercises will allow you to practice the concepts you’ve learned in a collaborative environment. This will reinforce your understanding and help you apply Systems Thinking to your own organisational challenges.

These topics will empower you to utilise Systems Thinking for more effective management of organisational change, providing you with both the theoretical framework and the practical tools needed to make a tangible difference in your workplace.

Learning outcomes

Practical tools and frameworks you can apply straight away to your change plans

By participating in this workshop, you can expect the following outcomes:

  1. Enhanced Problem-Solving Skills: You will be able to approach problems from a Systems Thinking perspective, allowing for more innovative and effective solutions.
  2. Improved Decision-Making: With an understanding of Systems Archetypes and leverage points, your decision-making will become more strategic and impactful.
  3. Better Communication: You will gain the ability to articulate complex systemic issues clearly and convincingly, improving collaboration across your organisation.
  4. Increased Change Readiness: You will develop strategies that prepare your organisation for change, making it more resilient and adaptable to external forces.
  5. Actionable Strategies: You will leave with concrete strategies and tools that can be immediately applied to facilitate organisational change.

These outcomes will not only benefit you professionally but will also have a positive impact on the effectiveness and efficiency of your organisation’s change initiatives.

Practical applications from the session

How this workshop can help with you with creating effective organisational change

With the knowledge and skills gained from this workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Diagnose Systemic Issues: Use Systems Archetypes to identify and understand the underlying causes of challenges within your organisation, leading to more effective problem-solving.
  2. Influence Change Positively: Apply leverage points to design targeted interventions that can significantly improve organisational performance and culture.
  3. Communicate Complex Ideas: Clearly articulate the interconnected nature of organisational issues and the need for systemic solutions, fostering greater buy-in and collaboration among stakeholders.
  4. Design Resilient Strategies: Create strategic plans that are robust against the unpredictable nature of business environments, helping your organisation to thrive amidst change.
  5. Foster a Systems Thinking Culture: Encourage a shift in mindset within your team or organisation towards a more holistic and interconnected way of thinking, leading to continuous improvement and innovation.

These examples demonstrate the practical value of Systems Thinking in various aspects of organisational leadership and change management.

Our approach

Engaging, thought-provoking and interactive training in system thinking

Our training stands out because of our unique combination of action learning, practical coaching, thought-provoking discussion, and best practice approaches. We don’t just teach you about Systems Thinking; we show you how to integrate it into your daily work and the broader strategic objectives of your organisation.

Our team consists of specialists in change management and process mapping with years of experience helping organisations navigate complex changes. We understand that the most effective learning happens when participants can relate the concepts to their own experiences, which is why we emphasise real-world applications and encourage participants to bring their own challenges to the table.

In addition to providing theoretical knowledge, our training is designed to arm you with practical tools and frameworks. These can be directly applied to your work, enabling you to see immediate benefits. Our approach ensures that learning is not just an academic exercise but a transformational experience that can lead to real change within your organisation.

Moreover, we combine Systems Thinking with process mapping to give you a visual and tangible understanding of your organisation’s systems. This makes it easier to communicate complex ideas and align your team towards common goals. Our background in change management ensures that we understand the human side of organisational change, enabling us to support you in managing transitions with empathy and effectiveness.

Summary

Our workshop on Systems Thinking for Organisational Change is an essential investment for anyone involved in leading or managing change. It equips you with a powerful set of tools and concepts that can transform your approach to problem-solving, decision-making, and strategic planning.

From understanding Systems Archetypes to identifying leverage points, the workshop covers a range of topics that are fundamental to developing a systemic perspective. You’ll leave with not just theoretical knowledge but also practical strategies and the confidence to apply them in your organisation.

As specialists in change management and process mapping, we are committed to delivering a training experience that is both enlightening and actionable. By participating in this workshop, you’ll be taking a significant step towards building a more resilient, adaptive, and successful organisation.

If you’re ready to embrace the power of Systems Thinking and lead your organisation through change with confidence and clarity, join us for this transformative workshop. Let’s work together to unlock the full potential of your organisation.

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