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Systems Thinking for Innovation & Design Thinking Teams

Get beyond the limitations of customer-centric approaches and address complex problems, fast


Upgrade your innovation and design thinking capabilities to address systems level challenges and the wicked problems ahead of us.

The Problem

Customer-centric approaches to problem solving, such as Design Thinking and Lean Startup, have long served us well, but they have severe limitations when trying to address complex issues or wicked problems like sustainability. This is because they focus on needs and problems of groups of customers, rather than big, messy and complex problems involving many stakeholders.

Systems Thinking for Innovation & Design Thinking Teams

Our Systems Thinking training is specifically designed to level-up teams who are familiar with innovation and business design approaches, like Design Thinking, Lean Startup and Business Model Innovation.

We train teams to understand complexities of wicked problems from multiple stakeholder perspectives and systems. Participants learn how to identify points of change and design solutions with deep consideration across entire systems, including managing unintended outcomes.

Systems Mapping for innovation and design thinking teams trainings map prototype causal mechanisms

Who is it for?

Our Systems Thinking approach is intended for team members aim to tackle ever-more complex needs, problems and challenges facing business. Such as environmental issues (climate change, circularity, decarbonisation and sustainability…) to social issues (resource scarcity, demographic shifts, urbanisation, and the sharing economy…).

  • Innovation Managers
  • Sustainability Managers
  • Service Designers
  • Strategy Managers
  • Business Designer
  • Business Insights & Intelligence
  • Experience Designers (UX/XD)
  • Design Thinkers
  • Technologists
  • Lean Startup Practitioners
  • Experiment Designers
  • Business Model Innovators
  • Innovation Strategists
  • Business Analysts
  • Interaction Designers
  • Circular Economy Managers
  • Agile Teams

How does it work?

We’ve developed our Systems Thinking training in close partnership with Wicked Accelerations Labs at Imperial College Business School (a World Top 10 University in the UK) and World Economic Forum (The Forum). We’ve had exceptional feedback from organisations and teams all over the World who’ve been deploying our frameworks, toolkits and processes.

We typically tailor trainings to address the size, scope and complexity of specific business challenge(s) you’re facing. Alternatively, we can train your teams in specific topics like Systems Thinking and Systemic Design approaches, so that you can apply them to your own challenges at your own pace. Get in touch to discuss the right approach for you and your business strategy.


Module 1: Understanding Systems Thinking

Learning objectives and outcomes:

  • Understand how Systems Thinking and Systemic Design approaches differ and form a complementary set of problem solving capabilities for innovation teams.

Module 2: Mapping Complex Systems

Learning objectives and outcomes:

  • Frame your challenge space and start to map the Systems Dynamics taking place across your ecosystem of stakeholders, partners, suppliers, competitors etc.

Module 3: Identifying System Dynamics

Learning objectives and outcomes:

  • Validate your complex systems and identify underlying causal dynamics and interactions which make your problem space improve or worsen.

Module 4: Designing System Interventions

Learning objectives and outcomes:

  • Design and prototype a range of interventions and solutions for your systems dynamics in order to bring about positive change whilst driving new business, environmental and societal value.

Module 5: Understanding Unintended Consequences

Learning objectives and outcomes:

  • Carefully identify the potential unintended or unanticipated consequences of your interventions and solutions across your systems and its dynamics to mitigate problems before they arise.

Module 6: Implementing Solutions & Listening to Systems

Learning objectives and outcomes:

  • Roadmap and implement your interventions and business solutions into your problem space, whilst carefully monitoring systems level signals across your ecosystem, so you can intervene as solutions become adopted.

Typical challenges

Many large organisations have invested in innovation and business design approaches, only to find they don’t quite work on bigger, more complex challenges alongside the speed of technological and global sustainability changes.

Customers, partners, consumers and governments are demanding more from businesses. Those who can create, capture and deliver real value whilst addressing the bigger problems at systems levels. These businesses will create the most widespread value and impact all round.

Businesses that embrace sustainability can find new opportunities for innovation and business whilst reduced costs, improving brand reputation and creating loyal customers.


Physical risks of doing business

  • Extreme weather events disrupting supply chains, infrastructure causing financial losses in vulnerable regions

New government regulation

  • Governments imposing stricter carbon taxes on GHG emissions whilst promoting greener business operations and sustainable practices

Resource scarcities

  • Raw materials and natural resources impacting value and supply chains increasing production costs

Consumer preference shifts

  • Businesses that equally contribute to ESG issues are becoming more important. Customers, suppliers and partners seeking business with strong commitments to sustainable practices

Investor pressures

  • Investors are increasingly seeking firms with high ESG value, metrics and KPI’s alongside sustainable practices. Higher investments are more likely on businesses operating sustainably.


Methodology & toolkits developed with Wicked Acceleration Labs

Explorer Labs Remote Facilitation Innovation Design Thinking Process

Team work remotely?

No problem. We can guide and facilitate our programs fully hybrid or in person using some great tools to get the job done. Reach out to learn more.

Key outcomes

Systems Thinking for Innovation Teams equips your organisations in B2B or B2C with the right mindset and toolset to tackle the most pressing global issues of our time.

Organisations that develop the right capabilities and approaches to tackle the scale of problems ahead of us will have an unfair advantage over their competition.

Increased business impact and growth

  • By understanding systems level challenges, organisations can create, deliver and capture value outside of existing business areas to unlock sustainable growth

Addressing sustainability challenges

  • Teams have the capabilities to quickly understand complex problems and propose carefully considered solutions and interventions that drive new business AND contribute to sustainability issues, fast.

Unlock new avenues for innovation

  • Broadened understanding of business environments unlocks much wider areas for value creation and wider business opportunities to explore.
  • This makes your business more resilient with a portfolio of opportunities to pursue.

Meet evolving consumer and supplier demands

  • Business more closely aligned with the needs and expectations of customers with approaches to deeply empathise and understand what they need and how to deliver it.

Reach out today


Get in touch to discuss your innovation needs & training challenges




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