Making Sense of Complexity

Adaptive Strategic Execution Programme

You will learn to:

  • Explain the criteria for recognising the context in which your project-based work exists.
  • Utilise lenses and frames to diagnose the context within which our project-based work resides
  • Identify opportunities to leverage the context for success.
  • Select the most successful approach to match your response to the environment
  • Utilise mindsets, skill sets and tool sets that will enable success in working in complex environments
  • Identify and align the stakeholders necessary for successful execution in complex environments.

Course Synopsis

Making Sense of Complexity focuses on the very nature of our working contexts today, arguing that the work we do is more complex than ever and that this complexity demands new approaches. Participants will learn how to recognise, diagnose, and respond appropriately to complex environments and situations in a highly interactive course setting. The course serves as an introduction and touch point to the rest of the courses in the programme.
Making Sense of Complexity introduces participants to a number of models, all geared towards helping them understand the effects of complexity on our working environments, teams, projects, and how we operate as individuals. It also relies on the PSC (perceiving, sensemaking, choreography) framework to help participants see responses to complexity as a matter of seeing the situation correctly, rewiring how you think, and then reconfiguring what you do in iterative cycles of problem-solving. The course demonstrates how different mindsets, tool sets, and skill sets (some traditional, others not) play a role in navigating complex contexts and begins and end with simulations that help participants apply these mindsets, tool sets, and skill sets in unique and innovative ways.

Course Topics

Perceiving: Complexity in Context
  • Defining "Complexity" 
  • How Did We Get Here?
  • - The Beginnings: Control was Key
    - Evolution: Work Became More Volatile
    - The Next Frontier: Complexity Is the Norm
  • The Context Model
  • - Environment
    - Organisation
    - Project
    - Team
    - Individual
  • PSC and Complexity
  • - Perceiving, Sensemaking, Complexity
    - The Intersection of Thought and Action
  • Complexity and the SELF model 
  • Complex vs. Complicated
  • - Snowdon's Model
  • Complexity Conditions and Variables
  • - Rate of Change
    - Magnitude of Change
    - Number of Variables
  • Connectedness of Components 
Sense-making: Lenses and Frames
  • Systems Thinking 
  • Decision Making 
  • - Decision Value
    - Biases in Decision Making
  • Problem Solving
  • - Successive Approximation
Choreography: Mindsets, Tool sets and Skill sets
  • Mindsets 
  • - Defining Mindset
    - Embracing Paradox
    - Non-linear Thinking
    - The Jazz Mindset
    - Learning to Use New Mindsets
  • Skill sets 
  • - Adaptability
    - Awareness
    - Organization (Self-Organization)
    - Improvisation
    - Design Thinking
    - Influence
    - Strategic and Benefits-Focused Thinking
  • Tool sets 
  • - SOAP (Strategy on a Page)
    - 12 Networks
    - Complexity Indicators
    - Positive Deviance
    - Project and Programme Management
    - Business Analysis
    - Agile Tools
Choreography: Responding to Complexity
  • Complexity Response Process 
  • - Analyse Available Responses
    - Select Responses
    - Adapt Responses
    - Implement Responses
Course Summary and Call to Action
  • Perceiving, Sensemaking, Complexity 
  • - Response to Complexity

Course information

Professional Development Units (PDUs): 21.0

Technical Project Management (PDUs): 0

Leadership (PDUs): 17

Strategic & Business Management (PDUs): 4

Duration: 3 days

This course is available as an in-house corporate training. To find out more about corporate training for your organisation, contact us.
Strategy Execution's Course Materials Go DIGITAL!

This new and exciting move has been carefully designed to help enhance your learning experience.

Click HERE to learn more about our digital materials' special features and benefits.