Convergent Thinking & Decision Making: Three Archetypes Every Manager Should Know
Client: American Production & Inventory Control Society (APICS) Continuing Education
Project duration: Boot Camp
Additional Reading: Peer Reviewed Article in IEEE Engineering Management Review
Project category: Convergent Thinking & Decision Making
The American Production & Inventory Control Society (APICS) is a non-profit international education organization that regularly hosts continuing education & development events for its members. We presented “Three System Archetypes every Manager Should Know”, one of our boot camp offerings, for a mixed audience of professional practitioners, graduate students, project managers, and engineers.
We presented a brief overview of Structured Systems Thinking including how to distinguish between the visible and latent system effects as well as how to read system archetype models. We then reviewed three common system archetypes managers encounter: Limits-to-Growth, Fixes-that-Fail, and Drifting-Goals. We illustrated how managers might recognize the presence of these archetypes in their daily work. And for each archetype we indicated how problems arose by only attempting to create a fix in the “visible” system and what that caused in the latent, or hidden, system structure. We also provided more holistic suggestions and policy options that enabled navigating these archetypes that both increased performance while avoiding problems.
Review of Systems Thinking Perspective
Presentation of Limits-to-Growth System Archetype
Presentation of Fixes-that-Fail System Archetype
Presentation of Drifting-Goals System Archetype
Improvement to forecasting by knowledge of system archetypes
Better decision-making and policy formulation by avoiding fixes-that-fail
How to diagnose what archetype a manager is experiencing and what to do
Demonstrating how the same archetype could apply to many scenarios