Seeing and Using the Big Picture
Structural Dynamics Approach to Strategic Planning

Structural Dynamics…
  • is a practical approach for dealing with the “big picture.”
  • combines the rigor of systems analysis and the creativity of scenario planning to develop insight and foresight. 
  • focuses on understanding the whole by examining the cause-and-effect relationships among the forces driving the future into the present.
  • helps determine high leverage actions to bring about the future we want.
  • is applicable in all aspects of life, on the job and off; across economic sectors and organizational types

Content and Approach of the Course

The course style is highly interactive and a case example is used throughout. We use the Structural Dynamics elements in small group exercises and practice proposed interventions under a variety of conditions. The process is analytical and rigorous, but not mathematical, scientific, or economic in nature. It does not use computer modeling or simulations.  There are no pre-requisites.  

Who attends?

Organizational leaders, strategy professionals, healthcare professionals, educators, academics, government representatives, internal and external change agents, and anyone interested in shaping the future of a system they care about.


            One day - 8:15 to 5:30

Workshop objectives...

  • To increase understanding of the dynamic forces in play in an organization's environment
  • To gain insight into current issues through activities designed to develop skills and innovative thinking
  • To develop the ability to help a team understand complex situations

What Participants Say...

Participants’ comments demonstrate that they find the workshop very useful and they anticipate applying their learnings to their own lives and organizational contexts:
  • I cannot say enough good things about this workshop.  
  • Great delineation of the tool from concepts that previously had not been considered
  • Well planned, well designed, coherent workshop balancing input and interaction
  • The program introduced me to a useful tool which can be used in my work with clients giving structure and methodology to the process of strategic planning and vision development.
  • I got a real "Ah Ha!" from seeing how wedded I am to my assumptions about the future.  That alone made the workshop worthwhile.
  • The workshop has the capacity to capture the "imagination" that stems from sound awareness of structural dynamics.
  • Highly innovative.
  • I enjoy this type of learning, a mix of theory, practice, process and outcome.  It tied each together with examples and exercises.
  • Well organized & "systematic," well paced.
  • A fresh perspective of systems thinking.
  • Key learning:  the value of alternative future scenarios for the development of robust strategies
  • Expanded systems thinking into a very hands-on, effective tool in management
  • Since my personal tendency is to push for closure prematurely, seeing that the implications of influences that are not always obvious is an important insight for me.
  • Mapping the connections between the driving forces was fascinating.
  • Showed me the connection between mapping systemic structure for leverage to a vision and mapping for an evolving potential future.
  • Well done, well formulated process.
  • Will help me to become a more visionary leader.
  • This experience was worth every second spent!
  • Thank you for the eye opening workshop.
For an overview of the May 2007 workshop, click here.

Click for more on  > Structural Dynamics

Art of the Future's article on Structural Dynamics published in Strategy & Leadership magazine can be found by clicking >  Creating Strategic Advantage with Dynamic Scenarios.

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