Management and Leadership

Understanding and Solving Complex Business Problems

Dates: Jun 24-25, 2014| Nov 06-07, 2014

Certificate Track: Management and Leadership

Participant Ratings


| 4.6


| 4.4


| 4.4


| 4.5

This program will introduce participants to “systems thinking” as a response to the rapid changes in technology, population, and economic activity that are transforming the world, and as a way to deal with the ever increasing complexity of today's business. Systems thinking was devised to improve people's ability to manage organizations comprehensively in a volatile global environment. It offers managers a framework for understanding complex situations and the dynamics those situations produce. Senior managers can use the system dynamics method to design policies that lead their organizations to high performance. The program is intended to give participants the tools and confidence to manage organizations with full understanding and solid strategy.

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.

The program will offer a new way of thinking about and resolving complex, persistent problems that emerge from change. Applying organization theory along with intuitive principles of feedback control, participants will learn to:

  • Assess the likely impact of different policies and decisions that relate to their organization's growth, stability, and performance
  • Recognize business system archetypes that can trigger persistent, long-term problems
  • Use state-of-the-art management tools to identify relationships
  • Intervene effectively to make fundamental changes

This program is designed for executives with decision-making responsibility who are looking for fresh ideas to resolve organizational problems. Past participants have included:

  • CEOs
  • Presidents
  • COOs
  • CTOs
  • VPs and EVPs
  • Corporate planners and strategists
  • Senior Project Managers
  • Product Development Managers

07:45 AM - 08:30 AMRegistration and Continental Breakfast
08:30 AM - 12:30 PMWelcome and Introduction, Introduction to System Dynamics, Lessons from the Beer Game
12:30 PM - 01:30 PMLuncheon
01:30 PM - 05:00 PMTools of the System Dynamics
05:00 PM - 06:00 PMReception
07:30 AM - 08:30 AMContinental Breakfast
08:30 AM - 12:00 PMPolicy Design in Complex Organizations
12:00 PM - 01:00 PMLuncheon
01:00 PM - 04:00 PMThe Implementation Challenge


    Excellent professor

    This course was my first MIT experience. The Content and Exercises were excellent, the Application to my current and future Business needs are real, it was a great experience for me.

    The analytical aspects were given prime focus while solving & illustrating the problems towards solutions. The velocity of discussion altrough was maintained. Its indeed a great learning.

    This course includes an excellent simulation, good discussions, and outstanding presentations.

    The most take-away from this course is the change of mindset. The instructors are so encouraging and inspirational. Like the Beer Game very much. The instructors also used many good case studies and modeled how to sort out the inflow-stock-outflow. Very vivid. One suggestion is that if all the demos can be done using the software rather than on a transparency, so we can see better and also get a copy of saved work. Strongly recommend this course to others. :)