System Thinking

Principles & reasons

What is systems thinking and practice? The essence of systems thinking and practice is in ‘seeing’ the world in a particular way, because how you ‘see’ things affects the way you approach situations or undertake specific tasks. This course will help you to learn about the problems of defining a system and meet some of the key concepts used in systems theory: boundary, environment, positive and negative feedback, etc.

Course Objectives:

    •    To help organizing and assimilate information and rationales for effective analysis, problem-solving and decision-making in executing         day-to-day procedures and operations
    •    To Understand some of the different approaches to systems thinking
    •    To Identify leverage points in managed systems


    •     Understand why they think the way they think
    •     Anticipate and accurately predict the impact of policies and procedures
    •     Remove ambiguity from policies and directives
    •     Understand different thinking styles of diverse ethnicities
    •     Understand how matching and mismatching impacts our thinking styles
    •     Reframe problems to be strategic opportunities
    •     Understand that there is more than one solution and a one solution methodology is myopic
    •     Identify and label conditioning thinking styles
    •     Get beyond SWOT analysis – the next step
    •     Rely on your intuition and be more self aware
    •     Be prepared to take mitigated risks and accept ‘bad ideas’
    •     Analyze the 4 models of world’s best thinking paradigms
    •    Think laterally and think on your feet
    •     De-clutter the mind and regain perspective and context
    •     Understand the killer impact of assumptions
    •     Think strategically
    •     Break away from myopic perspectives and think holistically
    •    Use the “Collaborative 4 Step Thinking’ methodology”
    •    Creating new ideas and techniques
    •    Clear framework of decision making process
    •    Mild mapping
    •    Win-Win thinking
        o    Role play
    •    Lateral thinking
        o    Case studies
    •    Analytical thinking
    •    Divergent convergent thinking

Logical Thinking
    •    Introduction to Logic
        o    Logic Games & role-plays
    •    Scientific Listening

System thinking model
    •    Fifth Discipline

    1:Lectures 20%
    2. Workshop Activities 20%
    3. Brainstorming and Sharing 20%
    4. Case Study 40%

Course Outlines:

What is system thinking?

    •    Understand why and how systematic thinking is important in organization
        o    Role plays & case studies

    •    Links between system thinking and managerial decision making
    •    Introduction to systems concepts and different approaches to 'Systems Thinking'

Understanding the importance of critical thinking and how it differs
    •    Types of thinking (e.g. memorization) are the first steps to improving business decision making. In this introductory lesson, participants will be introduced to
        o    Case study
    •    Six critical thinking skills: interpretation, analysis, inference, explanation, evaluation, and self-regulation.
        o    Role plays

Right Brain! Left Brain! Brain Sprain! Understanding Your Preferred Approach
    •    Brief introduction to the physiology of the brain and its impact on thinking
    •    Difference between right-brain and left- brain thinking 
        o    Role plays

Beyond Brainstorming: The Osborn-Parnes Creative Problem Solving Method
    •    A  process of solving business problems using six specific steps:
        o    Objective finding, fact finding, problem finding, idea finding, solution finding, and acceptance finding.
        o    Delphi & Nominal Group Techniques
    -    Case study

Systematic thinking as problem solving tool

    •    Sample of problem-solving (Kepner-Tregoe) tool to find best possible choice and minimize negative consequences

We’ve Always  Done It This Way: Getting Past Nay-Sayers and Other Negative People
    •    Overcoming the mentality of "that’s never going to work