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Systems Leader Certification

Design, manage, and lead adaptive teams and organizations!

  • On-demand online course
  • 5-7 hours to complete, with videos and activities
  • 3-month Plectica Pro subscription
  • Green Belt Certificate and pin for successful completion

Your organization is a Complex Adaptive System…

This systems leadership course is for anyone – from an aspiring team leader to CEO – who wants to design and manage a team or organization to be laser-focused yet highly adaptive. This course explores four functions – Vision, Mission, Capacity, and Learning, or VMCL – that are core to any form of organization (from natural organisms to human organizations) and offers practical steps for implementation.

What you’ll be able to do after the program…

  • Analyze and redesign existing organizational vision, mission, capacity, and learning systems
  • Manage organizational change by implementing the culture building graph (CBG) model
  • Build adaptive teams that are capable of mapping, sharing, and improving their ideas
  • Create an effective organization that is able to compete and succeed in an ever-changing, volatile environment

"When we were smaller, the DNA of the company simply flowed from me, since I could reach everyone. But when the organization passes a certain threshold, that's no longer possible. VMCL [the systems leadership model] was invaluable for me to create structures and concepts that allow 1000 employees to come together every day without a strong central control function."

Tim Tzuo
CEO, Zuora

Meet the faculty…

Derek Cabrera

Derek Cabrera

Internationally known systems theorist and cognitive scientist; teaches systems thinking, mapping, and leadership at Cornell University; Co-founder and Chief Science Officer of Plectica.

Laura Cabrera

Laura Cabrera

Translational researcher and systems scientist; teaches systems thinking, mapping, and leadership at Cornell University; Co-founder and Chief Research Officer of Plectica.

What you’ll gain access to…

  • Workbook with exercises for applying concepts to your team or organization
  • Videos from leading experts in systems thinking and supporting activities
  • 3-month Plectica Pro subscription to continue developing skills with a mapping tool for systems thinkers by systems thinkers
  • Green Belt Certificate and pin for successful completion of all course requirements
Plectica Certification course preview thumbnail

Program Overview

Systems Leadership 101

Module 1 Welcome

  • Welcome to Systems Leadership 101

Module 2 Flock Not Clock

  • Flock Not Clock
  • Simple Rules and Complex Adaptive Systems
  • All Organizations Are Complex Adaptive Systems
  • Understanding and Unlearning Inaccurate Mental Models
  • Vision, Mission, Capacity, and Learning
  • Check Your Understanding
  • Systems Leader Workbook

Module 3 See Vision (V)

  • Introduction to Vision
  • See Vision
  • Case Study: My Fitness Pal
  • Check #1: Our Vision Depicts a Desired Future State
  • Check #2: Our Vision Is Intrinsically Motivating
  • Check #3: Our Vision Is Short and Simple
  • Check #4: Our Vision Is Measurable, Ideally Binary
  • Check #5: Our Vision Lives in Hearts and Minds
  • Final Words on Vision
  • Check Your Understanding
  • Systems Leader Workbook

Module 4 Do Mission (M)

  • Introduction to Mission
  • Different Definitions of Mission
  • Why Do I Need Mission?
  • Check #6: Our Mission Is Action(s) Done Repeatedly
  • Check #7: Our Mission Brings About Our Vision
  • Check #8: Our Mission Explains WHO Does WHAT for WHOM
  • Check #9: Our Mission Is Clear, Concise, and Easily Understood
  • Check #10: Our Mission Is Measurable
  • Check #11: Our Mission Lives in Hearts and Minds
  • Check #12: Mission Moments Are Sacrosanct
  • Final Words on Mission
  • Check Your Understanding
  • Systems Leader Workbook

Module 5 Align Capacity (C)

  • Introduction to Capacity
  • Check #13: We Build Capacity to Do Our Mission
  • Measure What Matters
  • Check #14: We Build Capacity Through a System of Systems
  • Check #15: We Map Capacity In Order To Understand and Better Design These Systems
  • Check #16: We Use Learning to Expand Our Capacity
  • Check Your Understanding
  • Systems Leader Workbook

Module 6 Love Learning (L)

  • Introduction to Learning
  • Check #17: We Harness the Power of Mental Models
  • Learning from The Pass
  • Check #18: We Train People to Think in Order to Learn
  • Thinking Drives Learning and Learning Drives the Organization
  • Check #19: We Constantly Evolve Our Mental Models
  • Check Your Understanding
  • Systems Leader Workbook

Module 7 Leading a Culture Shift with VMCL

  • Introduction to Culture
  • Crisis of Disengagement
  • Check #20: We create a culture of vision, mission, capacity, and learning
  • Unlearning Culture
  • Culture Campaigns and Modeling Culture
  • Culture Building Graph
  • Inculcate VMCL Top-down and Bottom-up
  • Conclusion
  • Check Your Understanding
  • Systems Leader Workbook

Course Wrap up

  • Course Feedback
  • Course Wrap up

Suggested course materials…

Systems Thinking Made Simple

Systems Thinking Made Simple: New Hope for Solving Wicked Problems

Systems thinking can help us solve everyday and wicked problems, increase our personal effectiveness as human beings, and transform our organizations! Learn more

STMI Graph

Systems Thinking and Metacognition Indicator

The STMI is a validated edumetric developed that provides a pre- and post assessment of critically important systems thinking skills and metacognitive ability! Learn more