Systems Thinking


Course Description

Do you find that you or your team continually react to “brush fires,” or “solve” the same or similar problem over and over? Are you plagued by unintended consequences resulting from well-meaning actions?  Would you like to better understand the complex dynamic systems in which you work? This interactive and experiential workshop introduces principles, concepts, and tools of systems thinking, and explores what it means to bring a systemic perspective to one’s work and relationships. Participants will use systems thinking to deepen their understanding of a complex challenge or issue. This workshop is for anyone who wishes to become more effective in addressing complex challenges. Each participant will receive a deck of “Habits of a Systems Thinker” cards.

Performance objectives: Upon completion of this course participants will:

  • Understand the “Habits of a Systems Thinker”

  • Be able to use the Iceberg model to decide where to intervene in a system

  • Appreciate their interdependent relationships with others

  • Be familiar with the “plots” of recurring system stories (archetypes)

  • Understand how they might be contributing to the very problem they are trying to solve

Competencies covered in this course: The Habits of Systems Thinkers, “Lowering the Waterline” to deepen one’s understanding, feedback, leverage points, inquiry.

Intended audience: Teams, as well as Supervisors and Managers of Teams, and HR Professionals.

Standard Course Length

  • 1/2 day to full day Introductory Workshops

  • Two day Problem-solving Workshop

  • 10 – 25 participants


Please contact us for pricing information.

FAcilitated by

Steve Byers has 20 years of experience working with teams and leaders, and in convening important conversations in communities and organizations. He has designed and facilitated conversations in culturally diverse communities and organizations on such topics as racism and fair policing, employment and recreation for people with disabilities, access to health care in rural communities, strengthening families to prevent child abuse and neglect, and social determinants of health in immigrant communities. He also trains people to do this work, thus building capacity in the community. Steve works with teams and leaders to improve performance, strengthen working relationships, and increase team member well-being.

He has presented multiple interactive workshops at various conferences in the last 15 years, including Elevate Early Learning (Tacoma), In2:InThinking Annual Forum (Los Angeles), and the Pegasus Systems Thinking in Action conference (Boston & Seattle). Any workshop Steve offers can be customized for an organization so that the participants can do real relevant work while learning.

Steve is a graduate of the Organization Systems Renewal program at Seattle University. He is an experienced “Art of Hosting” facilitator and trainer. He designs and teaches workshops for organizations and the public, and teaches in a graduate leadership studies program at St. Mary’s College of California. Steve is also the owner of Helping Human Systems, a consulting practice to develop leadership capacity.