Social systems leadership: Thriving in complexity

Unlocking the mysteries of social complexity
Course description

Physicians (and many other healthcare workers) act as experts – not only because of their training, but also because the structure and culture of the health system force them into that expert role. As a result, experts can struggle to lead in the volatility, uncertainty and ambiguity of a complex system such as the Canadian healthcare system. 

This course helps with the understanding and practice of systems thinking in an interactive way and makes large complex systems more understandable to live in and influence. Systems thinking will come alive through exercises, learning through a simulated organization and working on a case action plan.

Return on investment

  • Examine and discuss the complexity of the Canadian system for health and disease care
  • Develop and apply skills in sense-making to guide decisions in complicated, complex and chaotic systems
  • Determine and discuss what leadership agility skills are needed in different systems
  • Recognize and influence underlying archetypes and social systems patterns causing resistance to systemic changes
  • Uncover and interpret patterns of interaction and learn to foster and manage relationships, in a simulated, experiential organization, by:
    • exploring, discussing, and experiencing the different worlds of Tops, Middles, Bottoms, and Customers (Patients)
    • developing concrete strategies for working more constructively within the system and respective organizations conversing on leadership strategies that address issues systemically rather than personally.


This course can be customized and delivered in-house at your organization, meeting or conference to physicians and/or interdisciplinary teams.