If a factory is put down but the rationality which produces it is left standing, then that rationality will simply produce another factory. If a revolution destroys government, but the systematic patterns of thought that produced that government are left intact, those patterns will repeat themselves ... There is so much talk about the systems and so little understanding.
-Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
2018 was the year that the expression "VUCA World" became viral!
It may be due to growing global upheaval and political instability, perhaps because of the increasingly urgent need to deal with climate change, the technological disruption of artificial intelligence that threatens our traditional jobs, the complete organic reformulation of the labor market, the emergence of phenomena of digital social networks impacting on the real world, or simply because in each of us there is growing awareness that we do not really understand the world around us very well.
Anxiety, fear, uncertainty, lack of "ground", frustration and a sense of disempowerment are emotions and sensations that accompany this transition period to something we do not know what it will be. The great frustrations of management arise when we try to apply a model (a representation) that is not appropriate to reality. Fortunately, recent discoveries of science in the fields of physics, biology, neuroscience, ecology, consciousness studies, mathematics, and information science help us to create new models for understanding the complex network of interactions in organizations, companies, and teams ecosystems . Models that not only explain but provide ways to explore new ways of acting in contexts similar to those found in war scenarios, social instability, fundamental uncertainty, and volatility.
Systemic thinking is a new language to describe the complex reality in which our organizations operate. It is based on the general theory of systems (developed in the 1960s). In the volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world we live in, it is the best model for understanding the complex network of causal relationships between our actions and their consequences. The focus of this language is the relationships between system variables, some of which we can control, some not.
It was developed and reached its maturity from ecological movements and became famous as the "Fifth Discipline" of organizations learning by Peter Senge and, more recently, Otto Scharmer (MIT).
The systemic perspective of organizational life, a way of observing inspired by the laws of Nature, offers us not only an opportunity to understand this apparent Chaos but also a glimmer of hope to control it ...
- "You can not understand a system unless you change it. "(Kurt Lewin)
- You can not change a system unless you transform consciousness.
- You can not transform consciousness unless you make a system sense and see itself.
The above points represent a holistic approach to organizational management, understood here as a living, complex, emerging behavioral system that can not be controlled as a machine.
Objectives of the programme
By the end of this program, trainees should be able to:
- See your organization or team as a living system framed in a complex eco system
- Understand the networks and connections that affect and influence the success of your organization and team
- Learn to accept and recognize patterns of behavior and archetypes of systems in order to bring more wisdom and wit to strategic decisions
- Transitioning from one mode of strategic planning based on control to another based on natural adaptation and evolution
- Learning to succeed and thrive in situations of chaos and uncertainty (antifragility)
- Understand concepts of general systems theory applied to management such as positive and negative feedback relationships, virtuous and vicious cycles, typical archetypes of dynamic systems, construct, read and interpret causal diagrams.
- To acquire notions of complex dynamic systems such as: emergent behaviors, fundamental uncertainty associated with complex systems, fractals and attractors, mathematical methods of simulation of complex systems
- Review and update knowledge about complex network theory applied to living systems: collaboration networks, centrality, sociograms, phenomena of spreading innovation, core networks and peripheral network
- Know and work with modern tools of strategic simulation of complex systems, collaborative tools of collective intelligence, personal development tools to deal with uncertainty and volatility (mindfulness)