Systems Thinking

"We cannot solve our problems with same thinking that we used when we created them" Albert Einstein.

You might be working in a large organisation that has become increasingly complex, as it deals with constant uncertainty and change, making it a chaotic environment to manage. You might be working in a small organisation that is part of a wider system of interdependent organisations, with these relationships having direct influence on your supply and demand chains. Your organisation might be a collection of diverse units that operate commercially across geographical boundaries with lots of interdepedency. All these are examples of organisational systems thatwould benefit from a systems thinking approach to problem solve and improve organisational efficiencies.

Systems thinking challenges traditional linear approaches to problem solving which tends to break the system down into its constitutent parts when trying to find solutions to problems However, often these solutions do not work long term and can sometimes frustratingly make the situation worse. Sound familiar? This module takes you through a different approach, with system thinking focusing your mind on the a ‘bigger picture’ and patterns and interrelationships of the system parts that make it a whole.

You will explore the theory of complexity science and human system dynamics. You will evaluate tools and techniques that you will be able to apply at a structural, technical and relational level in your organisation to come up with creative and efficient solutions to problems.

This elective module is for anyone grappling with change in a complex environment as described above, whether your organisation sits in a public, private voluntary sector system.