Systems Thinking Approach to Change Management


Why do so many complex Change programmes fail to achieve their promised benefits? Particularly so as there is no shortage of traditional, ‘linear’ Change Management methods? 

The reason is that so many approaches fail to take into account true Complexity: 

  • Unintended consequences 

  • Evolving requirements and adapting targets 

  • Emergence of unknown-unknowns 

  • Adaptation and Reactance from people and organisations undergoing change 

  • Novel and complex problems that won’t respond to slow, linear change methods 

In short, many approaches to change fail to integrate Systems Thinking. 


Over the course of these sessions, you will learn to apply a tool-box of practical, pragmatic and usable tools that will enable you to manage complex change effectively.

The course shows how to first assess Change projects in terms of their complexity and then to apply tools and methods appropriately. The course takes the traditional concepts of Change including Communication and Persuasion and moves them up to a higher, Systems Thinking level. Individual thinking styles and models of diverse cultural responses to Change are embedded in a framework of Complexity Theory and Systems Thinking.

Programme details

The 3-day course includes tools to evaluate change readiness and team alignment and identifies key skills for Change leadership. It features an Agile approach to project execution and covers key facilitation skills for Change Team leadership. 

We introduce a series of tools to deal with Complexity and Emergence including rich analysis of the organisational context and Change problem. We present a Systems Thinking approach to Change Project initiation and management based on Dr Rob Collins’ book “Visual Project Maps”. 

This course, as for other courses in this series, is primarily focussed on practical, usable tools that enable execution. This is a course aimed at ‘doing’ underpinned by Systems Thinking.  

Course Delivery

The 3-day version of this course is delivered at Oxford University.

The course normally runs from 09:00–17:00 (UK time) each day, and will be a balanced mixture of ‘taught’ sessions and practical, hands-on workshop activities.

Additionally, teaching facilities and the course tutor will be available until 18:00 each day to enable further practice of the skills taught during the day for those wishing to do so. 

Attending Your Course 

Further details will be emailed to you two weeks ahead of your course, which will include registration information. 

Please get in touch if you have not received this information within five working days of the course start date.  

In the meantime, you may wish to plan your travel: Travel information


Participants who attend the full course will receive a University of Oxford certificate of attendance. This will be presented to you prior to the end of the course wherever possible.

The certificate will show your name, the course title and the dates of the course you attended


Description Costs
1. Standard course fee £1295.00


Fees include course materials, tuition, refreshments and lunches. The price does not include accommodation.

All courses are VAT exempt.

Register immediately online 

Click the “book now” button on this webpage. Payment by credit or debit card is required.

Request an invoice

If you require an invoice for your company or personal records, please contact us. The Course Administrator will then email you an invoice. Payment is accepted online by credit/debit card, or by bank transfer. Please do not send card or bank details by email.


Dr Rob Collins

Course Tutor

This course is presented by Dr Rob Collins a well-known and respected consultant and practitioner. Rob has been teaching through Oxford University for over 20 years in parallel with running a highly successful consultancy practice delivering high-value Change, Improvement and Systems projects. 

Rob’s approach to teaching integrates usable, practical tools that are underpinned by a solid theoretical foundation. His practitioner-focussed courses enable attendees to immediately deliver high-value Change projects – both internally within organisations or as part of a consulting practice.  

Of Rob’s courses and teaching style, previous attendees have commented: 

  • Excellent delivery of course, Robert Collins was very open for discussion and yet direct and focused with a lot of content. 

  • Rob is a really engaging tutor- the blend of live presentation and Mural was great- I really learned a lot.

  • Rob was engaging and his enthusiasm really helped keep me interested in the topic. He kept it quite informal and his ability to connect with the students made the whole learning journey worthwhile. His adds some personal stories and experiences within his class to make the content very relatable.

Rob is well known across multiple industries for his other courses in Agile Project Management, Design Thinking, Lean Six Sigma and Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning and is the author of the widely respected business book “Visual Project Maps: Building Team Collaboration, Creativity and Commitment for your Project”. 


If you would like to discuss your application or any part of the application process before applying, please use the Contact email at the top of this page.


Although not included in the course fee, accommodation may be available at our on-site Rewley House Residential Centre. All bedrooms are en suite and decorated to a high standard, and come with tea- and coffee-making facilities, free Wi-Fi access and Freeview TV. Guests can take advantage of the excellent dining facilities and common room bar, where they may relax and network with others on the programme.

To check prices, availability and to book rooms please visit the Rewley House Residential Centre website.