Sense-Making & Problem Solving: The Systems Thinking Approach

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We all work in systems.

They are force multipliers, but they are also problem multipliers.

They bring complex problems.


And when solving complex problems, have you ever tried using the simple

Ask WHY? 5 times’ technique and felt you were going around in circles?

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When asking ‘why’ 5 times
doesn’t work... 


Try Systems Thinking.

What is Systems Thinking?
Systems Thinking is an approach to diagnose and analyse how different parts of a whole system are interrelated in order to have better results in  solving complex problems.

When Should You Use Systems Thinking?

  • The problem is important.

  • The problem is chronic, and is not a one-time event.

  • The problem is familiar and has a known history.

  • The problem has been unsuccessful to solve before.

     

Use Systems Thinking in Management and Operations to Help You to:

  • Make the right business decisions using a systemic approach.

  • Avoid wasted time, money, and other resources in the organization.

  • Solve the right problem, and solve it right!

Sense-making and problem solving are critical core skills needed for the future and listed as the top 15 skills for 2025 by World Economic Forum (Future of Jobs Survey 2020, WEF)

Be Smarter Than  Your Problem book

Our world is complex because we have developed increasingly sophisticated systems. Whether designed by nature or man, systems are the proverbial force-multiplier… but they are also problem multipliers. The obvious resolution to ‘work harder’ will not work — we need to be working smarter.

 

We need to be smarter than our problem. We need a tool to pry the lid off, to see the inner workings, so that we can apply the right effort at the right time in the right amount at the right place, to get the right results.

 

The tool we need is Systems Thinking.

Benefits of Becoming A Systems Thinker

  1. Asking different questions. When others are muddling around with symptoms and reactions, you are able to ask different questions to take the thinking to a deeper level.
     

  2. Seeing the Circular Nature of Complexity. Instead of the simplistic, linear cause and effect, you are seeing the circular nature of complexity. You are able to help others see that the root cause does not lie at the events level.
     

  3. Thinking beyond Events and Patterns. Having seen the circles, you are able to get others to think at the systemic structure, mental model and vision levels. The transformational solution lies here.
     

  4. Developing Sustainable Solutions. You are creating solutions that are systemic and systematic, rather than utilising knee jerk reactions to symptoms.

Here's what you will learn from:
The Art of Systems Thinking 1-Day Workshop

  • Cultivate a new way of thinking about complex problems

  • Apply an overall frame to properly diagnose a situation

  • Adopt appreciation of the larger picture

  • Appreciate the circular nature of complexity

  • Level up in thinking sophistication

Self sponsored

Financial Institution

Sponsored

Singaporeans/ PRs

$80

$80

All others

$800

$800

** These fees apply till 31 Dec 2021. The IBF funding amount 
     changes for 2022. More details here: 

     https://www.ibf.org.sg/programmes/Pages/IBF-STS.aspx

Here's what you will learn from:
Advanced Systems Thinking 2-Day Workshop

  • Cultivate a new way of thinking about complex problems

  • Adopt appreciation of the larger picture

  • Discover non-obvious root causes of a complex issue

  • Generate new insights and innovative ideas

  • Create a desired culture of holistic innovation and problem solving

  • Create strategies for effective transformation

  • Lead your team to Be Smarter Than Your Problem

Self sponsored

Financial Institution

Sponsored

Singaporeans/ PRs

$135

$135

All others

$1350

$1350

** These fees apply till 31 Dec 2021. The IBF funding amount 
     changes for 2022. More details here: 

     https://www.ibf.org.sg/programmes/Pages/IBF-STS.aspx

Sense-Making & Problem Solving:
Systems Thinking Workshop

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This is what our participants say: 

“This workshop was a very good blend of theory and practice, where Hong Wee as a trainer/facilitator helped me gain a new learning experience and a better perspective with regards to solving a complex problem by applying the Systems Thinking approach.  The depth of knowledge he demonstrated is immense and the comfortable atmosphere created made me feel worth travelling from so far and be part of this workshop.  A learning experience I am without no doubt taking back home with me.”
 
Mr Alejandro Marin
PSA, Panama

“Very likeable! Very engaging! Successful in imparting Systems Thinking knowledge/theory without 'downloading' (ie lecture style). Well done! Thank you. Systems thinking should be a course to educate all engineers!” 
 
Senior Manager (Anonymous Feedback)
Defence Management Science Course

Who should attend:

Anyone interested in sense-making and problem-solving using the Systems Thinking Approach, should join us for our workshops in November 2021.
 
The Art of Systems Thinking Workshop, 26 Nov 2021, 9.00 am to 5.30 pm, 1 day
Suitable for Supervisors, Executives and New Managers who want to make sense of and solve complex problems.
 
Advanced Systems Thinker Workshop, 22 and 23 Nov 2021, 9.00 am to 5.30 pm, 2 day
Suitable for Senior Managers & Directors who want to make better judgement and decisions through sense-making and solving complex problems.
 
Take a look at our table below for the contents of each workshop.

Do take note that IBF funding with 90% will change on 1 Jan 2022, so hurry take the opportunity this year. IBF  funding applies to Singaporeans and Permanent Residents if you are self-sponsored or from a financial institution. 

Tools Used In the Workshop

Our workshop is based on the book, Be Smarter Than Your Problem - The Art of Systems Thinking and conducted by Tan Hong Wee himself; audience will definitely benefit from his insights and experience from real case studies.
 

Still unsure? Reach out for a non-obligatory 15 min chat.
We help you understand your objectives and if this workshop is a fit for you or your employees.

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Art of Systems Thinking

Understanding and Solving Wicked Problems. 
Stop fighting fires at work - because it will lead to more fires. Reactive solutions will not solve complex issues. Instead, understand the systemic causes to address the fundamental issues - once and for all.

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Advanced Systems Thinking

Breakthrough at the Systemic Level.  'See the Big Picture', 'Find the Root Cause', 'Work the System' - common phrases floating along senior management corridors. But how exactly? This workshop shows you the methodologies and tools of an Advanced Systems Thinker, so that you can be smarter than your problem.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who usually attends your workshops? 

  • Supervisors, Executives, & New Managers who want to make sense of
    and solve complex problems.

  • Senior managers & directors who want to make better judgement
    and decisions through sense making and solving complex problems.

  • Any professional interested in learning how Systems Thinking is applicable to their work and life.
     

Why is Systems Thinking workshop beneficial for me? 

  • Today's world is highly networked with highly connected and complex problems.
    Systems Thinking is the art and science of tackling complexity. It harnesses both
    left and right brain thinking, collates the wisdom of the team into a coherent big
    picture, so that we can gain insight and solve problems more effectively.

  • Sense-making and problem solving are critical core skills needed for the future and listed as the top 15 skills for 2025 by World Economic Forum (Future of Jobs Survey 2020).

 

How do I know you’re the best in this topic? 

  • Our workshop is based on the book by a published author, Tan Hong Wee, who is also an experienced  Leadership Development consultant and trainer, specialising in Systems Thinking, Design Thinking, Team Effectiveness, Coaching and Facilitation.