The Discipline of Why: Using Systems Thinking to Craft Effective Solutions - Best Practice Institute
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The Discipline of Why: Using Systems Thinking to Craft Effective Solutions

Presenter: Paul Plotczyk, Chief Learning Officer, Best Practice Institute


In this interactive, engaging presentation, the presenter will help convert the impressive ideas in the Fifth Discipline into a few easy to use tools that will also illustrate two key tenets of Systems Thinking - discipline and curiosity. The tools will include, “The Context Awareness Hierarchy,” “Systemic Curiosity Worksheet,” and the “Implications Wheel.” Paul will also frame the 5 criteria for making the distinction between complex versus simple problems, and provide a brief overview on the impact of Mental Models on setting the context that determines our worldview.

The goal of this webinar is to increase your systemic thinking and decision making so that your relationship to what’s possible is impacted. Also, to share the value of a few key tools so that you can see that the problems you face today - and the future you are living into – can shift from one of impossibility or merely repetition of the past, to one of real possibility.

As the size and reach of our organizations increases, the percentage of the problems that managers have to address continues to increase in impact, and complexity. Yet most of us use the same decision-making models on every problem - regardless of the level of complexity! Simple, dynamic and complex – it doesn’t matter, all are treated the same.

In fact, we are so busy using our standard decision-making models - evaluating problems and then treating them as isolated incidents - that we fail to understand the implications of our decisions. We use event-focused firefighting techniques rather than a systemic approach as the base of our decision-making. We just want to “fix” the problem – and then go on to the next one.

The issues in a large and/or growing enterprise are very complex and cannot be successfully resolved by application of a linear event-focused or “break it down” process. A linear process or one in which problems are broken down into manageable pieces, keeps us from understanding the implications and consequences of decisions, and puts blinders on any possibility thinking.

Systems Thinking, especially as shaped by Peter Senge in his seminal work, The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization, provides a way to alter the context of our approach to problem solving, especially for the dynamic, complex, “can’t-find-an-easy-solution” situations that have become all too common.

What Will You Learn

-How to Make Effective Decisions
-Tools for Systems Thinking
-Models of Systems Thinking
-How to Use and Apply Mental Models
-5 Criteria for For Identifying Complex and Simple Problems

Who Will Participate

Decision Makers, Executives, Managers, Team Leaders, Problem Solvers, anyone who is interested in learning how to effectively make decisions for their organizations


Paul Plotczyk

Chief Learning Officer, Best Practice Institute

Access Resource

60 Minutes