Training - Systems Thinking Approaches for Change Management Projects, Yerevan

International Center for Agribusiness Research and Education


March 30, 2015

Event Date:

April 02, 2015 - April 08, 2015

Opportunity Cover Image - Training - Systems Thinking Approaches for Change Management Projects, Yerevan

The series of "Trainings for Industry Executives" to be conducted in ICARE during 2015 are an initiative implemented by the German International Cooperation (GIZ GmbH), jointly with ICARE and funded by EU, under the EU Targeted Initiative for Armenia project.


International Center for Agribusiness Research and Education
invites you to  participate in a videoconference training on
Systems Thinking Approaches for Change Management Projects
conducted by
Meri Duryan, PhD


The 5-day training will take place on April 2, 4, 6, 7 and 8.


International Center for Agribusiness Research and Education (ICARE).

Address: 74 Teryan Street, 0009 Yerevan (entrance from Teryan Street)


18:30 - 20:30 (this includes a coffee break). For details, see agenda below.

Working language

The working language will be English.

Training participation fee

The training is free of charge.

Training description

Today, managers need to address the complex problems and challenges of the current global business environment to ensure project delivery on time and within budget. Managers are expected to cope with increasing complexity of organisations that are constructed of complex networks consisting of feedback loops with time delays and non-linear relationships. Hence, for any changes in the organisation to be long-term, managers must approach the problems considering the impact of their solution on the whole system. This requires that managers develop a degree of Systems Thinking (ST) where managers operate in a large interconnected system of value chains. ST approaches are currently being used by a number of corporations representing IT, Banking, Defense, Construction, Healthcare, Agriculture and other industries, including Fortune 500 firms Worldwide. The course is designed in a way to illustrate innovative ST approaches to Problem Definition and Decision Making, Organisational Change, Knowledge Management/Sharing and Project Management.

Target audience

The course is geared to managers (any industry) wishing to take on a significant corporate leadership position and the perceived next-generation leaders of their respective organizations. It would also be of interest to managers working in a governmental agency or nonprofit organization where increasing business complexity places a premium on management having advanced management skills.  

Course design

Lectures, practical exercises, up-to-date case studies.


Dr. Meri Duryan holds PhD in Systems Thinking approaches for Strategic Decision Making from Maastricht University, the Netherlands, an MBA in Management Information Systems from Maastricht School of Management, the Netherlands, MS in Computer and Information Science from the American University of Armenia and a BA in Software Engineering from the State Engineering University of Armenia. She has publications in the US and UK journals and long running managerial experience in Armenia, the Netherlands and UK (over 16 years, 3 of which at executive level, in multicultural teams with different international organizations such as World Bank, AED, UNDP, USAID). Currently she holds the position of a Project Manager (Knowledge Management Systems) at Network Rail, London, UK. Her responsibilities include support of the development and implementation of ergonomically refined Knowledge Management process and systems within Network Rail’s multi-billion pounds National Electrification Programme; management of specific change projects; support of the development of a Learning Environment that will assist the leadership of Network Rail in better understanding of the complex systems they deal with and delivery of the Knowledge Transfer Partnership that involves UK government, University College London and Network Rail. She also conducts trainings and workshops on Systems Thinking and Problem Structuring Techniques for Project/Knowledge Management for the UCL Masters Programme in Strategic Management of Projects.

Registration procedure and deadline

If interested, please register for the training by filling out the registration form (in English)DOWNLOAD HERE and email it to the training coordinator, Arpine Arakelyan at  Registration deadline is March 30, 18:00. Due to limited seating only shortlisted applicants will be notified for participation.


If you have questions, please contact Arpine Arakelyan at, or call at 098 106-105.


Date: April 2


Time:  18:30-20:30





The Fundamentals of Systems Thinking


We all tend to look for causes near the events we want to understand. Moreover, we pay more attention to symptoms rather than the underlying causes of the problem. However, in complex systems cause and effect are distant in time and space. ST is a discipline for seeing interrelationships rather than things, for seeing patterns of change rather than static “snapshots.” There are number of approaches that apply ST. An overview of the theory and some practical applications will be presented.



Date: April 4


Time: 18:30-20:30





A systems thinking framework for problem definition and decision making


Decision making is one of the most important functions of the managers in any organization. Defining the nature of the problem is considered to be the most difficult and demanding. To successfully manage information and avoid wrong and costly solutions, the management has to consider multiple representations of problem situations. Combination of ST hard (System Dynamics modeling) and soft (strategic options development and analysis (SODA)) approaches help considering multiple perspectives of stakeholders with conflicting interests and help determine the dynamics of a system through learning about feedback processes, time delays, and nonlinearities in the system. Practically, ST is applied or used for problem solving and for systems design.



Date: April 6


Time: 18:30-20:30







A Systems Approach to Organizational Change

Change is a product of our era. Competition is and is often fuelled by the technological innovation. Governments impose new regulations, customers become more demanding and all that impose more pressure on organizations. In today’s complex world the managers are pushed to take more efforts to ensure that organizational processes are efficient and employees are motivated. Faced with increasing complexity, change and diversity, managers have too often apply quick-fix solutions. Unfortunately, quick fixes rarely work on the long run because they are not holistic and concentrate on the parts of the organization rather than on the whole. They fail to recognize the crucial interactions between the parts and do not consider that optimizing the performance of one part may have consequences elsewhere that are damaging for the whole.





Date: April 7


Time: 18:30-20:30




Systems Thinking Framework for Knowledge Management/Sharing


Knowledge management is an emerging field that has commanded attention and support from the industrial community. Many organizations currently engage in knowledge management in order to leverage knowledge both within their organization and externally to their shareholders and customers. Systems thinking is important for knowledge management because it provides an overseeing framework to help ensure that the same general requirements are addressed by knowledge management endeavors across organizations (and with varying methodologies and tools).



Date: April 8


Time: 18:30-20:30



Systems thinking for Project Management


Project Management is one of the most important and most poorly understood areas of management. Most of the projects in IT, aerospace, defense, constructions and other areas have delays and cost overruns. Systems thinking tools have repeatedly been demonstrated to be effective in a wide variety of situations, both academic and practical.

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March 30, 2015