Applying the Tools of Systems Thinking to Implement and Manage Change
Applying the Tools of Systems
Thinking to Implement and Manage
Change on Campus
Mieko A. Ozeki
Sustainability Projects Coordinator
University of Vermont
Overview of Workshop
a. The Challenge of Change Management
b. Introduction to Strategic Mind Mapping and Applicable
c. Example: Mapping a Strategy for UVM’s Beverage System
and Banning Bottled Water
Mind-Mapping Activity in pairs
(a) Practice the application of system thinking, design thinking, and project
management frameworks via mind mapping.
(b) Develop a strategic mind map with a 30,000 foot perspective on an issue
you are working on at your campus.
(c) Walk out with a starter “playbook” for addressing specific issues,
campaigns, etc. and stakeholder relationships.
(d) Add a skill to your facilitation tool kit.
Your participation in this workshop will help you walk out with new
tools for your sustainability tool box. It also requires….
“A positive mental attitude unblocks the mind, increases the probability of
making spontaneous connections, relaxes the body, improves perception,
and creates a general expectation of positive results.”
- Tony Buzan
A growing number of students, faculty, and staff are increasingly concerned
about their environmental impacts and demand immediate action to be
taken. Despite good intentions, these same people can act in haste rather than
strategically implementing a long term solution.
Strategic Mapping of Issues
• The intent is to look at issues,
problems, campaigns, relationships,
etc. from 30,000 foot view by
identifying opportunities, barriers,
key stakeholders, etc. through the
process of mindmapping. Also
called network mapping, idea
mapping, concept mapping.
• Mindmapping is the process of
visually presenting information via a
• Mindmapping is a tool for applying
the frameworks of systems
thinking, design thinking, and
Applicable Frameworks of Mindmapping
A holistic approach to
analysis that focuses on
the way that a system's
interrelate and how
systems work over time
and within the context
of larger systems.*
A formal method for
resolution of problems
or issues with the intent
of an improved future
The application of
knowledge, skills and
techniques to execute
projects effectively and
What is the scope?
(a)Pair up and introduce yourselves
(a)Each persion should identify 1
or 2 pressing issue, problem,
etc. you are about to or
currently engaged in.
(a)Be specific about the issue you
want to address (ex. banning
(a)Summarize the issue into a single
word or succinct term.
Getting Started (5-minutes)
Step 1: Identifying the Parts of the System
10-minutes each; 20-minutes total
(a) With Post-it notes, put your single
word in the center of your map work
space. (Note: Your workspace can
be at a table or wall)
(a) Discuss with your partner the issue:
identifying what and who is or
could be involved.
(a) Your partner will listen and write on
Post-it notes a phrase, opportunity,
relationship they hear as you work
through the problem. One term
per Post-it note.
Step 2a: Construct your mindmap-
Connect what & who (15-minutes)
Start to put together a rough
draft of a map with your post-
= Node, a concept
associated with central
= Branch, connects
one node related to
Step 2b: Construct your mindmap-
Identify the how (15-minutes)
• Take a step back and look at your maps.
• Talk with your partner.
• Can you identify possible solutions
(policies, programs, projects, etc.) to
1. Define the
1. Create and
1. Refine selected
1. Pick the winner
“A system is more than the sum of its
parts. It may exhibit adaptive,
dynamic, goal-seeking, self-
preserving, and sometimes
Step 3: Draft scope and action plan
• Look at your system and write a scope
• A scope statement includes: Project
justification, Project product,
Project deliverables, Project
• Jot down a starting task list.
What is the scope?