Who should attend
This course is of interest to any sector that needs to understand the nature of its business environment and develop an organised response with the capacity to identify emerging trends and be able to respond to them. It is suitable for APS6 - SES level (or equivalent).
About the course
Strategic Thinking and Planning in Complex and Uncertain Policy Environments
How to develop strategy in a complex and uncertain landscape
No longer can we develop plans, implement them and expect that we get the anticipated results. In a complex and uncertain policy environment, strategy development requires a new way of thinking and working that will enable plans to be useful and effective. This course will draw on the principles of systems thinking and complex adaptive systems to frame new approaches for planning that enable the development of outcomes, objectives and actions to be developed with sufficient flexibility that will enable change in direction to changing circumstances.
The assumption that an agency can set a plan, implement it and expect that the intended results will be realized is no longer valid. In a complex and uncertain policy environment, strategy development requires a new way of thinking and working that will enable the plan to be useful and effective. This course provides participants with:
- models and frameworks for undertaking strategic thinking and strategic planning;
- the experience in distinguishing between strategic thinking and strategic planning
- an introduction to the principles and practices of systems thinking and complex adaptive systems as a lens to undertake strategy development. These principles will enable participants to think and work differently for a complex and uncertain policy environment.
Participants will be presented with models and frameworks and will be expected in small groups, to apply them to current policy issues. Participants will be coached and mentored in a small group work environment to practice strategy development using the principles of systems thinking.
Participants will be facilitated to engage in large and small group conversation to explore the principles, make sense of them and apply them in small group exercises
Topics to be covered:
- Framing strategic thinking and planning in an uncertain and complex policy environment
- Understanding ambiguity and uncertainty when undertaking strategic thinking and strategic planning
- Models and frameworks for strategic thinking and planning
- Principles of Systems Thinking and Complex Adaptive Systems to understand complex and uncertain business/policy landscape
- Application of models and principles for undertaking strategic thinking and planning
- Understanding and managing entrained human behaviour patterns and their impact on strategy development
- Understanding the distinctions between strategic thinking and strategic planning
- The capacity to identify the difference between ambiguity and uncertainty and how to respond accordingly to develop strategy
- The capacity to identify uncertainty, understand it and include the implications of it throughout the strategic plan
- The capacity to design a strategic plan and develop statements of outcome with the associated performance indicators and activities
- The capacity to better understand people during strategy and policy development and how to better manage relationships to achieve intended business outcomes
Anticipated behavioural and business impacts include:
- Participants will be able to frame the issues/external operating landscape from a systems perspective. Such a perspective will provide deeper understanding why and how issues are arising and identify appropriate solutions. This process strongly supports new kinds of conversations within the business that lead to new insights
- As a result of the course, participants will tend to work more as a team to explore the nature of the system under study. They would identify key driving forces shaping the system and consider the complexity around those driving forces. A series of conversations would lead to suggested strategic responses given the complexity and uncertainty that will shape the system under study.
- Participants from the course will begin to talk about intended outcomes and results in response to key driving forces and emergent patterns in the operating landscape. They would then identify contextually relevant solutions/activities to achieve those results. This is in contrast to more usual approaches to just presenting solutions without firstly considering the intended results that are to be achieved.
Dr Gary Saliba is the Director of Strategic Journeys, a management consulting company that assists in strategy development work within organisations. The unique role of Gary and his company is the integration of complex adaptive systems thinking with future studies and strategy development. This...
Because of COVID-19, many providers are cancelling or postponing in-person programs or providing online participation options.
We are happy to help you find a suitable online alternative.