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A Deep Dive Into Systems Thinking in Healthcare

The Enlightened Enterprise Academy has now run two shorter programmes on Critical Systems Thinking and the Management of Complexity with the world's leading expert on the topic, and author of the book of the same name, Dr Michael C Jackson OBE.

A number of graduates from both programmes asked if we would offer a more in depth programme with a practical focus. The Deep Dive Programme starting in January 2024 is the result.

Several participants on both of the previous programmes were also from the healthcare sector. They included a GP with a special interest in diabetes, people from the World Health Organisation, the CEO of a hospital in Spain, consultants and others. For this reason, we decided to focus the project based Deep Dive Programme on healthcare.

About the Programme

The project for the first cohort of the Deep Dive Programme will look at the ways in which Critical Systems Thinking and Practice can be applied to the creation of a National Health Strategy in any country.

The Governments of nations are very often working on policies to design or re-design strategies for the development of systems for health, energy, education, transportation, industry etc. As part of that process, they often commission reviews that are guided by a Terms of Reference document, a remit for the review. They usually involve some systems thinking, but it is often inadequate, and rarely as comprehensive as a Critical Systems Thinking and Practice would be.

The 6 month programme is designed for a global audience and will be offered online, It will focus on the first two of the four Critical Systems Practice Steps which are the “Explore” and “Produce” stages.

In the Explore Stage a draft Terms of Reference would be analysed and refined by the group using a variety of systems thinking approaches, as Critical Systems Thinking advocates. In the Produce Stage the use of Critical Systems Thinking and Practices would inform the design of an Intervention.

We would look to carefully document this whole process with a view to using the learning to publish a report or book based on the insights gained. And our current thinking is that this would be published so that anyone involved in the design or re-design of a national health system in any country might benefit from it. It would help them understand the benefits of Critical Systems Thinking and Practices in the design of systems and in policymaking. And these lessons are likely to be beneficial in the design of all the other systems beyond only healthcare.

If the project goes as well as we hope, we may invite you to stay involved and go to the next stages, putting the work done up to that point into practice. We already have many established connections in the healthcare sector internationally, and we think they may be interested in contributing to the intervention. That intervention would then look to produce policy recommendations and the methodology for understanding how to go about adopting them, based on the views of a range of credible and authoritative stakeholders.

Whilst the focus of the project will be healthcare, we encourage participation from people who are not part of the healthcare profession. The insights gained will have relevance regardless of the sector you are interested in. We simply chose healthcare since it is something that everyone has some experience and understanding of, and we feel it will be easy for people to relate to.

For these later stages of the project, we would need to ensure there is sufficient interest from you, potential stakeholders, and those that might supply the necessary funding. We are not, therefore, committing to these additional stages yet, but we would love to try and facilitate such a project if there is the interest, will, and means to make it happen.

An Invitation

You are invited to consider applying to take part in this programme if you have some prior knowledge of systems thinking, or can spend additional time that would need to be invested to get up to speed with others on the programme.

If you need to get up to speed to get the most out of the programme, we can support this by giving you access to the multimedia content used in the exploratory programme which includes an extensive video library, the book and a range of documents and other resources.

The Investment

  • The investment required to participate is £1,995 based on a single payment.

  • Payment plans are available to spread the cost over 6 months.

  • And our usual discount policy applies.

  • If you were a participant in one of the first two cohorts you should have received an email from us already, with details of the special price for participation in the first cohort of this Deep Dive Programme.

Any Questions?

You may ask questions by email, or email to arrange a call:

May Want to Participate?

If you are interested in participating, please email me to arrange a time to for us to speak:

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