Systems Thinking and Doing in Defence – the misadventures of a boundary spanner and other experiments

Sam Williams
24 April 2017

Adoption of systems thinking and systems approaches in a hierarchical public sector organisation such as defence can be challenging. The Systems of Systems Approach (SOSA) change programme has spent the last 5 years trying to help the MoD tackle complex problems and improve coherency across defence. This presentation will be an interactive discussion on the application of Systems Approaches and how we communicate them to a non-expert audience in an attempt to make that ‘leap of faith’ for adoption of Systems Thinking and System Approaches more achievable in the business. The talk will give an overview of what SOSA has been doing in the last 5 years, how we are using hindsight to support foresight and how some of that learning might be applicable to other complex organisations. Some audience participation will be required.

Sam Williams has spent the last 20+ years trying to understand and tackle complex problems in Defence. Sam is part of the Systems of Systems Approach team in the MoD, her current work includes promoting the awareness and adoption of applied systems thinking and systems approaches in Defence. Always keen to find new ways of bringing systems thinking and doing to life in both the work and education context, she spends her time trying to bridge the gaps between different fields of knowledge and experience. Sam is Chartered Engineer, an INCOSE Certified Systems Engineering Practitioner and an active STEM ambassador.