Course ID: 1

Learning to Live with Complexity & Positive Disengagement

Business has always been unpredictable and surprising, and the systems in business have always been complex. But due to the IT revolution, complexity affects everything—products, supply chains, organizations. This makes managers’ jobs far more difficult. It is harder to make sense of what is going on, make predictions about the future, and place bets. Complex systems go beyond the merely complicated because you can’t predict what is going to happen just from knowing the initial conditions. Our analytical tools have not kept up. The secret is making fundamental changes in how managers approach tasks such as: Forecasting. Drop certain analytical tools. Embedded in many are assumptions that don’t hold true for complex systems. Focusing on a few types of predictive information can do the job. * Mitigating risks. Reduce the need for accurate predictions. In an unpredictable environment, the best investments may be those that minimize the importance of predictions. * Making tradeoffs. Take a real-options approach. Small investments can give you the right, but not the obligation, to invest more later on. * Ensuring diversity of thought. Diverse thinkers better equip companies to deal with the unforeseen changes that are inevitable in complex systems. Project Disengagement: When it’s time to constructively exit most companies have poor processes for constructively shutting down projects and capturing whatever value and learning might have been generated within them. This seminar covers the topics of first, recognizing when you may be escalating commitment to a project that is failing, next, developing a disengagement plan if you have concluded that stopping it is the best thing to do, and finally coming up with a way of capturing as much value as possible from the experience of having done the project. Depending on the interest of the group, the example of Hewlett Packard’s “Kittyhawk” venture may be used as an exercise.


LEARNING OBJECTIVES
  • Upon completion of this course, participants will:
  • Recognize that analytical tools have not kept up and that complex systems go beyond the merely complicated because you can’t predict what is going to happen just from knowing the initial conditions
  • Discover the secret of making fundamental changes in how managers approach tasks
  • Be awae that embedded in many analytical tools are assumptions that don't hold true for complex systems and that focusing on a few types of predictive information can do the job.
  • Learn how to mitigate risks and reduce the need for accurate predictions
  • Take a real-options approach and discover that small investments can give you the right, but not the obligation, to invest more later on
  • Recognize diversity of thought and that diverse thinkers better equip companies to deal with the unforeseen changes that are inevitable in complex systems
  • Become familiar with project disengagement:This seminar covers the topics of first, recognizing when you may be escalating commitment to a project that is failing, next, developing a disengagement plan if you have concluded that stopping it is the best thing to do, and finally coming up with a way of capturing as much value as possible from the experience of having done the project. Depending on the interest of the group, the example of Hewlett Packard’s “Kittyhawk” venture may be used as an exercise

MAJOR TOPICS
  • Recognizing when you may be escalating commitment to a project that is failing, next
  • Developing a disengagement plan if you have concluded that stopping it is the best thing to do
  • Coming up with a way of capturing as much value as possible from the experience of having done the project.

DESIGNED FOR
Everyone

FIELD OF STUDY
Business Mgmt & Organization

PREREQUISITES
None

COURSE PRODUCER
Learning to Live with Complexity & Positive Disengagement

CPE CREDITS
2.0

LEVEL
1

This course is available for your group as:

Group Live
 

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