Using Systems Thinking to Unpack Problems

Drive transformative change by first understanding how to apply systems thinking to unpack complex problems.

In Using Systems Thinking to Unpack Problems, you’ll learn how to apply systems thinking in a practical way to understand the problem and reveal the social, economic and environmental factors that may contribute to it. With these insights, you will be able to make better decisions about where to intervene and know which behaviours to target.

Bring your own problem to apply a systems approach: To get the most out of your course, we encourage participants to bring their own problem to apply a systems approach. This could be a problem you are currently facing at work or in a personal project.

Who's this course for:

This course is for you if you are a problem solver looking to enhance your analytical skills to tackle complex issues with a holistic perspective.

Whether you are a business professional seeking to optimise organisational processes, a policymaker aiming to address societal challenges, or an aspiring innovator seeking to develop impactful solutions, this course will equip you with the tools and frameworks needed to navigate intricate problems effectively.

Course structure:

  • 15 hours of online learning across a seven-day program
  • 2x online workshops, providing opportunities to engage with and learn from our in-house researchers
  • Designed for self-paced flexible learning
  • You will watch videos, engage in discussions, complete readings, investigate case studies, and participate in a peer review activity, all within our online learning platform

Online workshops:

  • First Friday, 9.30 to 11.30 am
  • Last Friday, 9.30 to 11.30 am

*Plus 11 hours of self-paced learning between workshops.

Your learning outcomes:

  • Learn why, and how, systems thinking can directly contribute to the development of effective behaviour change initiatives
  • Use ‘cause and effect’ mapping to gain a broader perspective of the context and situation of a problem
  • Discover how these holistic, big picture approaches can illuminate different actors/behaviours that may be more impactful to focus on
  • Create connections and influences that can inform later stages of the BehaviourWorks Method, such as identifying specific drivers of a behaviour and designing effective behaviour change evaluations

This course is delivered to Monash University’s quality standards by our team of applied behavioural scientists.

BWA Toolbox Series of practical short courses

BehaviourWorks Australia Toolbox series of practical short courses are designed to support skills development and the application of behavioural science theories,  techniques and methods. See our other short courses:

The benefits of taking a holistic, big picture approach

For behaviour change programs to be successful, we need everyone to be on the same page. One of the tactics we use to achieve this is by showing how problems emerge from systems.

By examining the interconnections and/or influences between networks, processes, policies and organisations, we are better able to identify some of the challenges (i.e., silos, competing agendas, organisational cultures) that may be playing a role.

Systems mapping helps us identify the range of influences contributing to the problem to reveal parts of the system where behaviour change can have the biggest impact – ideally for the least effort.

More on Systems Thinking as a methodology and Research Service

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Got a question about our education programs?

Please check our frequently asked questions. If you can’t see an answer there -
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Frequently asked questions

What format of course do you run?

Our training portfolio offers a variety of opportunities to suit a wide range of needs, from half-day or two day short introduction or foundation programs, a 15 hour skills development course (toolbox series/short courses) to an eight week bootcamp, and our 12 week accredited program. We also welcome applications for our doctoral program for the truly behaviour obsessed!

What is a digital badge?

Digital badges are a widely used and reputable method of verifying your learning. By sharing your digital badge (usually a small graphic linked to details about your course or credential), you can demonstrate your skills, build trust with your prospective employers and your professional network, and enhance your personal brand and your career.

Through your badge, you can also create a printable course certificate. Here you can find out more about Digital Credentials at Monash.

What is the difference between assessed and non-assessed?

Our Applying Behavioural Science to Create Change course can be completed with or without assessment. Detailed assessment information can be found here.

There are also opportunities for formative assessment available to all learners in the course, provided by behaviour change experts, through short online learning checkpoints. There is no requirement for students to complete assessments if they are registered to the non-assessed version of the course .

Learners who successfully meet all assessment requirements of the assessed version of the course are eligible to apply for six credit points for the equivalent Masters unit (ENS5520 – Understanding Human Behaviour to Influence Change) on admission to the Master of Environment and Sustainability at Monash University.

Program fees:
Assessed: $2,500 inc. GST
Non-assessed: $2,200 inc. GST

Can you provide training for my organisation?

We have specialist courses for organisations, from a coaching and mentoring team-based bootcamp to bespoke, tailored programing to meet identified needs within your team. Please get in touch to discuss you requirements.

How often do the courses run?

We have a calendar of delivery dates for open to market offerings. If there is something you are interested in that is not in the calendar, let us know!

What makes your course different to a traditional university course?

All BehaviourWorks Australia programs focus on providing our participants with the knowledge and confidence to apply practical behaviour change tools and methods in their workplace/life.

Who runs the course?

All our courses are delivered by the experienced and engaging BehaviourWorks Australia applied research team. The researchers are all engaged with cutting-edge projects with clients, using evidence based behavioural science to address real world problems. This means we draw on live examples and personally developed case studies in the programs.

How much experience do I need to participate?

We offer programs to suit everyone, from those who are just starting to explore behaviour change and what it offers, to those who have already been applying in their work and want to boost their toolkit, to organisations who want to support their own behavioural insights team.

Is behaviour change applicable to my industry?

Understanding WHO needs to DO WHAT differently, and exploring why people do the things they do, is at the heart of many government departments, industries and life itself! All our work is underpinned by the Sustainable Development Goals, and we work across sectors including health, societal equity, financial development and environmental protection. If you work with people and problems, a behavioural perspective could be extremely helpful in increasing your program or policy effectiveness.

I am not based in Victoria - do you have any online offerings?

Yes! We have online courses with the same content and same fantastic interactive delivery techniques as our face to face programs. We design our online programs with flexibility in mind, so that working professionals and others can easily access the content at a time that suits their needs.