Systems Management Seminars Descriptions:                                                            BACK


Seminar 1: Problem Solving


Problem solving: What should we do?

This seminar introduces organisational problem solving, using the systems approach. Systems thinking is used as a basis for understanding problem solving as a process of group inquiry. Practical methods, which help to define what should be done in a particular situation, are introduced. We demonstrate methods for building shared understanding of underlying causal factors and their interactions. We present methods that are designed to encourage participative group learning.



      The seminar starts with an overview of the principles of problem solving.

      We teach a technique for problem solving by guiding the participants through the application of this technique to their chosen organisational problems.



q       Participants develop an understanding of the complexities of organisational problem solving

q       They develop an ability to deal with the interrelationships between the factors of the system.



Seminar 2: Scenario Planning


Scenario Planning: Implementing Strategic Learning

This workshop deals with the process of long term, strategic planning using scenarios. It stresses the importance of viewing strategic planning as an integrated learning process.



      It gives a framework for planning activities using scenario development

      Real case scenarios are presented to illustrate the process



q       Participants better understand the need to make planning an ongoing activity

q       They develop the ability to do rudimentary environmental scanning

q       They develop an ability to sketch scenarios based on key uncertainties

q       They learn how to do scenario planning for their own work situations




Seminar 3: Day 1: Strategy Design


Designing Strategy


In this workshop participants are encouraged to think of strategy as on ongoing activity designed to assist them to reassess their position against a fast and ever changing back drop of the environment. They are given hands on models and tools for assisting them in these activities.





      The game Stratagem. This is a complex and ingenious game which helps participants understand the complexity of systems by having to manage a country. They also apply the Kolbe Learning cycle to the situation. This helps them to apply a model to apply a learning cycle in their situation.

      They are introduced to a model which assists them to understand the seven forces operating in our environment

      They are introduced to a model which highlights the generation of business success and the factors that contribute to it. They understand the ideas of distinctive competencies and competitive advantage.




q       Participants develop the understanding the strategy is a behaviour rather than a technique

q       They go away with hands-on expertise for using powerful tools and models to make that behaviour happen

q       They gain understanding of and insight into business success and the factors that contribute to it.



Seminar 3: Day 2: Enterprise Design.


Designing and managing appropriate organisations


This workshop deals with how organisations may be structured, and how the parts interact. Be warned! If your interest is drawing organograms, this unit is not for you; if your interest is in improving the organisation of your organisation, then read on. The material covers a fundamental rethink of the way in which organisations should be designed for survival.





      Introduction of some systemic tools for inquiry into organisational forms.

      We introduce a template for an organisation which is designed for high control and high autonomy.

      Participants are introduced to the principles of two organisational models

      They are encouraged to become familiar with these principles by them to their organisation.




q       Participants develop an understanding of the principles needed to be followed when designing a viable organisation

q       They develop an ability to measure and evaluate an existing organisational structure for viability.

They learn how to make designing an organisation a participative process