Management and Leadership
Business Dynamics: MIT's Approach to Diagnosing and Solving Complex Business Problems
Dates: Jun 02-06, 2014
Certificate Track: Management and Leadership
In a world of growing complexity, many of the most vexing problems facing managers arise from the unanticipated side-effects of their own past actions. In response, organizations struggle to speed learning and adopt a more systemic approach. The challenge is to move past slogans about accelerating learning and “thinking systemically” to practical tools that help managers understand complexity, design better operating policies, and guide effective change.
This program introduces participants to system dynamics, a powerful framework for identifying, designing, and implementing high-leverage interventions for sustained success in complex systems. It has been used successfully in diverse industries and organizations, such as Airbus, Compaq, General Motors, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, and Merck. Developed at MIT more than thirty years ago by computer pioneer Jay Forrester, system dynamics led to the creation of management flight simulators that allow managers to experience the long-term side effects of decisions, accelerate learning, and design structures and strategies for greater success.
Through intensive, hands-on workshops and interactive experiments, participants will be exposed to the principles of systems thinking and practical methods for putting them into action. They will be introduced to a variety of tools, including mapping techniques, simulation models, and MIT’s management flight simulators, which they can apply to their own business environment as soon as they complete the program. Throughout the week, participants work in small groups and interact closely with the course leaders, Professors Sterman and Repenning.
Participants will experience the Beer Game, a table game, developed in the late 1950s by Jay Forrester. Played with pen, paper, printed plastic tablecloths, and poker chips, it simulates the supply chain of the beer industry. In so doing, it illuminates aspects of system dynamics, a signature mode of MIT thought: it illustrates the nonlinear complexities of supply chains and the way individuals are circumscribed by the systems in which they act.
Join the MySloanExecEd Community Group for this program to network with past, present, and future participants.
Effective decision making and learning require tools to better understand how the structure of complex systems influences the behavior of individuals within them and the overall outcomes. The concepts and frameworks covered in Business Dynamics will enable participants to:
- discover why dysfunctional dynamics persist in organizations
- understand why success in one area often means trouble for other areas, and how to avoid this problem
- identify and understand complex situations and the dynamics they produce
- assess in advance the likely impact of different policies and decisions on the growth, stability, and behavior of organizations
- design integrated growth strategies
- reduce critical delays in new product development and introduction
- make strategic decisions that result in outcomes consistent with overall objectives
- develop the ability to think systemically and dynamically
- implement successful change initiatives
Business Dynamics is designed for executives, managers, planners, strategists, and consultants who work with management teams. It also benefits administrators of public and not-for-profit organizations, management scientists, and educators.
Titles of past participants have included:
- Chief Executive Officer
- Vice President, Learning and Innovation
- Chief Investment Officer
- Decision Consultant
- Manager, Continuous Improvement
- Director, Forecasting and Market Intelligence
- Quality and Process Director
- Vice President, Performance Measurement and Management
- Director of Process Management
- Senior Quality and Business Excellence Consultant
- Director of Programs and Strategic Planning
- Manager, IT Strategy and Competencies Development
- Director, Corporate Planning
- Change Manager
- Director, Customer Investment Program
- Operations Improvement Manager
- Director, Enterprise Risk Management
- Director, Process Improvements Initiatives
- Vice President, Global Network Services
- Director, Sustaining and Process Engineering
- Manager of Corporate Planning
- Operations Research Analyst
The benefits of the program are reinforced when three or more participants from the same organization attend. Companies are encouraged to sponsor cross-functional team participation.
|DAY One SAMPLE|
|08:00 AM - 08:30 AM||Introduction and Course Outline|
|08:30 AM - 10:30 AM||Beer Distribution Game|
|11:00 AM - 12:30 PM||Game Results and Discussion|
|12:30 PM - 01:30 PM||Luncheon|
|01:30 PM - 03:00 PM||Feedback Loops and Simple Structures|
|03:30 PM - 05:30 PM||Simulation Workshop: Exploring Simple Structures|
|05:30 PM - 06:30 PM||Reception|
|DAY Two SAMPLE|
|08:30 AM - 10:30 AM||Tools for Systems Thinking|
|10:30 AM - 12:00 PM||Dynamics of Process Development|
|12:00 PM - 01:00 PM||Luncheon|
|01:00 PM - 03:00 PM||Modeling and Policy Design|
|03:30 PM - 05:00 PM||Modeling and Policy Design Workshop|
|DAY Three SAMPLE|
|08:30 AM - 10:00 AM||Late, Expensive and Wrong|
|10:30 AM - 12:00 PM||Project Management Dynamics (session 1)|
|12:00 PM - 01:00 PM||Luncheon|
|01:00 PM - 02:30 PM||Project Management Dynamics (session 2)|
|03:30 PM - 05:00 PM||ReThink Health Management Flight Simulator|
|DAY Four SAMPLE|
|08:30 AM - 10:00 AM||Climate Policy Simulator|
|10:30 AM - 12:00 PM||People Express Management Flight Simulator|
|12:00 PM - 01:00 PM||Luncheon|
|01:00 PM - 03:00 PM||People Express Conceptualization and Policy Design|
|03:30 PM - 06:00 PM||People Express Conceptualization and Policy Design (session 2)|
|06:00 PM - 07:30 PM||MIT Campus Tour|
|07:30 PM - 09:00 PM||Reception and Dinner at MIT Museum|
|DAY Five SAMPLE|
|08:30 AM - 10:00 AM||Systems Dynamics in Action: The GM Experience|
|10:30 AM - 12:00 PM||Systems Dynamics in Action: The Implementation Challenge|
|12:00 PM - 12:30 PM||What do I do Monday morning? How to Keep on Learning|
Description: Derik Mantel on why he chose MIT Sloan Executive Education and his experience in the Business Dynamics program.
Description: Professor Nelson Repenning discusses system dynamics, a technique developed at MIT for solving complex problems, and MITs related week-long program, Business Dynamics.
Description: Pilar Parada on her experience with MIT Sloan Executive Education programs and the Executive Certificate in Strategy and Innovation.
Description: Participants take part in a break out session during Business Dynamics
Description: How much would your organization pay to develop manufacturing capability equat to Toyota's? How much would a world-class, six sigma quality program be worth to your company?
I've just returned to Saudi Arabia, and have had some time to reflect on the course and my learnings last week. I want to thank John Sterman and Nelson Repenning for putting together and delivering a highly applied and engaging course. I'm a facilitator myself, and I know how demanding it is to coral a diverse and large group such potentially complex subject matter. There was a nice mix of applied cases, guest speakers, software, and lecture. The topic of Systems Dynamics is so vast, I found the facilitators did an outstanding job of both conveying the power of the theory, as well as the responsibility of applying the thinking in real world cases. I believe it would be easy to take a course on Systems Dynamics that would completely miss the mark, and focus on the mechanics. Sterman and Repenning were careful to frame the usefulness of the thinking, and demonstrate its applicability while teaching the participants how to manage the value in the model, the analysis and client engagements. I can't imagine a better source for this material. It would have been nice to have more time to discuss and debate with the other participants on the cases or our own experience, but that would then turn into a 2-week course! Thanks gentlemen, Neil.
Exellent program. I could learn a lot and it will be very useful for my job.
The program was a very good eye opener right from the start. A good healthy thinking is required during each session and the application to the manufacturing industry is strait forward. I strongly recommend this course for people in leadership position that are dealing with complex situation.
I have never learned about anything in my life that is more useful than System Thinkings. A truly mind-blowing course!
It's a learning lifetime experience that gives you a HD retina for business.