Foundations in Systems Thinking

Improving organisational decision making.

As a leader, have you experienced problems that persistently defy solution despite best efforts by you and your staff? 

In an increasingly complex environment, it’s likely that such experiences are becoming more frequent. We find ourselves bumping up against the limits of effectiveness of our usual problem-defining and problem-solving approaches. It’s not that we need to abandon our usual approaches; rather, we need to expand them.

Organisations are systems, and when we learn to see the relationship between structure and behaviour in our system, we can begin to understand how we might shift structures to enable different/ better patterns of behaviour. That is systems thinking.

The “Foundations” program is designed to introduce and practice systems thinking skills that will enable you to more effectively define and address organisational challenges.

Grow your ability to

Meet Your Coaches

Learn from highly experienced facilitator coaches

Barry Bales, Ph.D.

Barry is a Director of Uncharted Leadership in the USA. He is intrigued by what enables people to be successful in leadership roles. Previously, he was Assistant Dean for Professional Development at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, the University of Texas at Austin. He continues to hold a faculty position as Clinical Professor in the School’s Executive Master in Public Leadership Program. Barry is a frequent speaker in the areas of leadership and systems thinking, and has taught, consulted with, and coached leaders and executives in fifteen US states and nine foreign countries. His Ph.D. is in Adult and Human Resource Development Leadership from the University of Texas at Austin. 

Andrew Stevens

Andrew is a Director and Co-founder of the Uncharted Leadership Institute, Australia. Andrew is passionate about the role that management and leadership development plays in making organisations, communities and even societies more productive, more human and more successful. Formerly, he was Director and Assistant Dean of the Executive Education Unit at the University of Adelaide, where he led a variety of Leadership and Management programs for approximately 1,200 participants per year. He completed an MBA at the University of Adelaide in 2005 and is a fellow of the Governors Leadership Foundation Program (GLF).

Designed for busy managers and leaders with a blend of self-paced and real-time learning using the Uncharted Quest platform.

The program’s multi-dimensional learning approach involves a nine-week, iterative cycle of learning, application, and reflection.

  • Real-world application – To provide immediate application, exercises will involve participants using systems thinking tools to analyse organisational issues each will bring to class.
  • Action-based learning – The platform encourages the completion of bite-sized “Missions” using the action feedback learning model.
  • Live, virtual sessions – We will convene in 4 different virtual sessions during the program, ranging from 1 to 2.5 hours, to introduce concepts and practice applications.
  • Peer-coaching and feedback – Systems thinking is best learned and practiced in small groups, and small group work will be structured for both asynchronous and synchronous assignments.
  • Micro coaching – Facilitators will provide timely and personal feedback on your application efforts throughout the program.
  • Always accessible – You can access the self-paced content anytime, anywhere, using computers, tablets, and smartphones.
  • Be able to apply the basic concepts and principles of systems thinking in better understanding organisational issues and problems.
  • Better understand the reasons change initiatives fail, and use systems thinking principles in a step-by-step process to more effectively design and implement these initiatives.
  • Ask systems questions to better understand and anticipate current and possible future behaviours.
  • Be more thoughtful about where to intervene to have the biggest impact on system redesign.

While systems thinking skills are available to almost everyone, our experience in doing this work internationally has shown that those with the following attributes are likely to benefit the most from this program:

  • Those in mid or higher-level leadership roles who already have substantial leadership skills and experience.
  • Those who have recognised that solutions to some of yesterday’s problems are the source of new problems we face today.
  • Those who have a continuous learning mindset and are open to challenging their own perspectives.
  • Those whom the organisation needs to be an impactful leader of change.

New dates just announced!

Virtual sessions will be held on the following dates:

  • Session 1 – 1 Nov 4-5pm (Austin) / 2 Nov 7.30-8.30am (Adelaide)
  • Session 2 – 11 Nov 3-5.30pm (Austin) / 12 Nov 7.30-10.00am (Adelaide)
  • Session 3 – 2 Dec 3-5.30pm (Austin) / 3 Dec 7.30-10.00am (Adelaide)
  • Session 4 – 6 Jan 3-4.00pm (Austin / 7 Jan 7.30-8.30am (Adelaide)

Registration fee is US$550 or AU$745 if payment is received by 14 October 2021. If received after this date the fee will  be US$695 or AU$940.

At A Glance

Program format

This comprehensive, multi-level program includes:

  • An introduction to Systems Thinking
  • The different “lenses” of thinking that help illuminate the structures most affecting behaviour in your organisation
  • Key concepts and systems thinking tools
  • Opportunities to use these new skills on your own organisational challenges

Learning together

Peer-coaching and feedback groups conducted both asynchronously and synchronously to enhance systems thinking practice and skills.

Duration and Program Structure

Nine weeks in length

Designed For

Those already successful in mid or higher level leadership roles who want to expand their ability to make impactful decisions in a complex world.

Dates and Fees

Virtual sessions will be held on the following dates:

  • Session 1 – 1 Nov 4-5pm (Austin) / 2 Nov 7.30-8.30 (Adelaide)
  • Session 2 – 11 Nov 3-5.30pm (Austin) / 12 Nov 7.30-10.00am (Adelaide)
  • Session 3 – 2 Dec 3-5.30pm (Austin) / 3 Dec 7.30-10.00am (Adelaide)
  • Session 4 – 6 Jan 3-4.00pm (Austin / 7 Jan 7.30-8.30am (Adelaide)

Registration fee is US$550 or AU$745 if payment is received by 14 October 2021. If received after this date the fee will  be US$695 or AU$940.

Register now

for Foundations in Systems Thinking