Systems Thinking 101 (ST101)


To succeed and thrive in today’s increasingly interconnected world, the ability to understand complex systems, think fluidly, and solve complex problems is essential.

Systems Thinking 101 (ST101) is a self-paced online course that provides concrete systems thinking tools you can apply to analyse complex situations. Participants will be introduced to systems thinking concepts, principles, and practices to improve existing processes, operations, and thinking patterns. Through this programme, participants will learn to gather insights by deciphering and understanding the dynamics and interconnectedness of systems at play to make better decisions.

Learning Objectives

  1. Use USBISP paradigm of systems thinking (Understand the System Before Identifying or Solving the Problem).
  2. Can distinguish between and relate Systems Thinking, Systems Mapping and Systems Leadership.
  3. Identify the elements (simple rules, agents, interaction effects, emergent property) of Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS).
  4. Articulate how Systems Thinking (DSRP) is foundational to the “8 types of thinking.”
  5. Articulate the relationship between a global list of human crises and the root crisis (a thinking crisis).
  6. Articulate the 4 ways that DSRP is foundational to Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and Analytical Intelligence (IQ).
  7. Articulate the mismatch between Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Adaptive (VUCA) and Linear, Anthropocentric, Mechanistic, and Ordered (LAMO) and why it’s important.
  8. Recognise names and use cases of the top systems models and approaches (i.e., The 4 Waves of Systems Thinking).
  9. Demonstrate ability to predict behaviour/action from mental models and reverse-engineer behaviour/action to mental models.
  10. Using DSRP verbal and/or visual language, spontaneously reify mental models using pen and paper drawings or objects.
  11. Decipher real-world scenarios using:
    1. Systems Thinking Iceberg model
    2. Systems Thinking Loop model
    3. Systems Thinking mental model = information + thinking (m=i+t) model.
  12. Commit to memory the DSRP Thinking Structures and their Elements.
  13. Using the DSRP Thinking Structures and their Elements to verbally express your thinking.

At the end of the programme, you should be able to:

  • Deepen your understanding of the what, why, and how systems thinking
  • Enhance the logic you use to solve problems
  • Analyse and model changes to complex systems
  • Communicate the complexities and associations within a system
Together, we can make a systemic impact to the world