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New Course: Decoding Workplace Complexity with Systems Thinking & Modelling


“Whatever failures I have known, whatever errors I have committed, whatever follies I have witnessed in public and private life, have been the consequences of action without thought.”Bernard Baruch


The greatest challenge faced by any professional today and into the future lies in the increasing complexity in our day-to-day work. When we act hastily without a clear understanding about the complexity of our problems, we create unintended consequences that will often amplify our problems instead of solving them.

Systems thinking is a management discipline that has its origin from MIT since 1950s aimed at educating people on how to deal with complex system. Many systems thinking techniques, such as Iceberg model, behaviour over time graphs, casual loop and stock and flow, have been demonstrated consistently as proven approaches in understanding and managing the nonlinear behaviour of complex systems (in business, IT, healthcare, society and etc) over time. This understanding allows us to identify key leverage points where we can design effective actions/strategies to address complex problems generated by the complex system.

This course is designed specially to equip professional with the knowledge and skills on system thinking and modelling. Using proven collaborative learning, purpose-driven learning and peer instruction approaches, learners, who have little or no prior knowledge about systems thinking and modelling, can expect to incrementally acquire the skills and knowledge in this course, while at the same time having fun learning.

The course will also include a series of modelling activities using Vensim specially designed to challenge the learners to model their complex problems at work so that effective policy/action can be designed to address them.


Learning Outcome

Upon completion and through active participation in this course, learners will be able to:

  1. Describe the importance of applying systems perspective into their day-to-day work challenges
  2. Discuss day-to-day work challenges from systems perspective
  3. Construct mental models on current challenges using causal loop diagrams (CLD) & behaviour over time graphs (BoT)
  4. Translate CLD into quantitative models in the form of Stock and Flow Diagrams (SFD) using computation tools like Vensim
  5. Perform what-if analysis on the SFDs to identify key policy levers in the system
  6. Design and implement effective actions/strategies on the SFDs to address the identified challenges
  7. Collaborate effectively with peers to analyse and discuss the impacts and effects of challenge using systems thinking and modelling.

Click here for details.