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Systems Thinking: Make Real Differences to the Real World

Guest post by Dr Michael Baron, Systems Thinking Unit Facilitator for the University of Adelaide MBA Program 

When it comes to securing better jobs and advancing careers, an MBA is one of the most effective study options available for mid-career professionals to undertake. Despite popular beliefs, an MBA is not just about learning about principles and practices of good management and leadership. True, the program incorporates a lot of up-to-date informational content that covers literally all aspects of running an enterprise, however, obtaining factual knowledge alone is not going to ensure successful and rewarding careers. A masterly crafted MBA Program will expand the learners’ horizons by equipping them with skills to apply their newly-acquired knowledge within their organisational settings.  

In other words, it is not only about ‘what you know’, but also about having the right mindset to establish what you can do with the skills knowledge and tools at your disposal to help improve the performance of your organisation. 

This is what I love about the Systems Thinking subject; we start by looking at the general principles and holistic ways of analysing factors and interactions that impact possible outcomes in a wide range of situations, industry settings and scenarios. Some of these settings appear to be having little to do with the professional environments the MBA students are working in, however once examined closely, this is not the case. For example, by examining how animals keep their ecosystems together, we can understand the concept of interdependence of systemic factors and elements, and from the story of the Cats of Borneo, we learn that when solutions are implemented without a system approach in mind, it often leads to the creation of even greater problems. Looking into such holistic examples is just a start asby the end of the course, students are already able to apply their systems thinking skills to identify problems or ‘systemic break-downs' at their respective workplaces, and can establish a course of action to address those problems. 

Upon completion of the Systems Thinking subject, students will be able to put their new skills to work, and translate our classroom discussions and learnings into immediate improvements to business processes at current or future workplaces. 

Undertaking a Master of Business Administration provides you systems thinking skills, allowing you to identify issues and offer solutions. The University of Adelaide offers an online MBA that focuses on upskilling managers with both real world and workplace relevant knowledge and abilities. The University of Adelaide is part of the Group of Eight, which means that it is recognised as a leading university in Australia. Choose to become the leader you have always wanted and make real organisational change.  

If you have any questions about the online Master of Business Administration or around enrolment, make an appointment to speak with an advisor today. 

Dr Michael Baron facilitates the Systems Thinking Unit of the University of Adelaide’s MBA Program. He is a Melbourne-Based IT consultant and he has over 20 years of Experience in Project Management, Strategy Consulting & Digital Transformation, and is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Information Systems with the Swiss Business School. 

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