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Texas LBJ School

Organizational Development Series: Systems Thinking

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Description

Issues facing organizations are extremely complex, and yet we are often surprised when solutions and decisions for these issues fail to "solve" the problem. Indeed, we all know of cases where the solution actually made the problem worse! Standard problem-solving/decision-making models are useful for addressing certain types of issues but are often inadequate, by themselves, for effectively addressing more complex issues.

Our Systems Thinking course is currently offered several times each year. Dates, times and descriptions of additional courses in this series will be announced throughout the year.

Upcoming Courses

Systems Thinking

Issues facing organizations are extremely complex, and yet we are often surprised when solutions and decisions for these issues fail to "solve" the problem. Indeed, we all know of cases where the solution actually made the problem worse! Standard problem-solving/decision making models are useful for addressing certain types of issues, but are often inadequate, by themselves, for effectively addressing more complex issues. This series will provide tools for dealing with complex organizational issues. Our Systems Thinking course is currently offered several times each year. Dates, times and descriptions of additional courses in this series will be announced throughout the year.

Much has been written about "systems thinking" over the last several years. Basically, a system is a collection of parts, which interact with each other to function as a whole. Organizations behave as "systems", and there are systems tools and processes that can help us better understand how the various parts of organizations interact with each other and then use that understanding to diagnose and address organizational issues. This two day workshop is designed for managers and leaders in government who wish to use the tools and processes of systems thinking to enhance their own thinking and to better assess and address complex organizational problems.

Learning Outcomes

Participants will be able to:

  • Understand the tools and language of systems thinking
  • Use systems archetypes (common patterns of problems) in identifying organizational problems
  • Generate alternative solutions for organizational problems
  • Assess and anticipate short term, long term, and unintended consequences of proposed solutions
  • Use these tools and principles in analyzing participants' own organizational issues

Who should attend

Managers and leaders in government.

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