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Systems and Design Thinking

Online
Course Number
DYNM 666 900
Course Code
DYNM666900
Course Key
69278
Instructor
McAdam, Barry
Prerequisites
Course permits for non-DYNM students: https://www.sas.upenn.edu/lps/graduate/dynamics/course-permit
Primary Program
Course Note
DYNM Category: F; DYNM Concentrations: LMC, SD
Course Description
This course is 80% asynchronous and 20% synchronous.

This course is designed to challenge the traditional thinking of basic management strategy and practice and to show why organizations must learn to think differently.  This course takes a multidisciplinary approach to challenge participants to rethink their assumptions and move beyond the traditional practice of complex problem and management strategy formulation and execution.  The course will look at the challenges and opportunities that come from integrating Systems and Design Thinking to create more sustainable solutions. 

The prevailing pattern of thought employed by management is analytical.  A new pattern of thought is required: synthetic.  Systems thinking involve both analysis – to produce knowledge of organizations (systems) – and synthesis to provide understanding.  Without both, effective solutions to problems cannot be obtained. To go beyond understanding to wisdom requires awareness of the difference between doing things right (efficiency) and doing the right thing (effectiveness).  The better we do the wrong thing, the more wrong we become.  Today a great deal of energy is expended by organizations in an effort to increase the efficiency with which wrong things are done.  This course looks at how systems and design thinking can increase the chances of making the right decisions; doing the right thing.
Subject Area Vocab