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Systems Leadership 2.0

Learn how leadership without leaders is organized and how to build a team that is capable of building itself
Starts 29.09
To complete the course, you must complete at least one of the items from the list:
- to be a graduate of the Systems Management School;
- to show the certificate of passing the training "Systems Thinking" on Coursera;
- to show the certificate of passing the course "Systems Engineering Practice" of the Ural-Federal University;
- to read the book by A.Levenchuk "Systems-Engineered Thinking";
- to read the book by V.Mizgulin "Systems Engineer"; view the video from the Systems Approach Thesaurus cycle on our Youtube channel.
What can be learnt from this course
  • Modern engineering practices of human capital
  • The most effective practices with the opportunity to test them in a safe environment under the guidance of a coach.
Enroll in the course
What other tasks the course will help to solve:
Link the traditional and modern (systems) view of leadership
"New organizational models require new approach to leadership. Leaders of distributed teams in flexible organizations need negotiation skills, resistance to change and systems thinking "(Deloitte University Global Human Capital Trends, 2017). The main distinguishing feature of our course is the linkage of the traditional view of leadership and the methodology of the modern systems approach.
Master advanced leadership practices
The manager wants the organization to work as a clock, but for this it is necessary that people perform their job duties qualitatively. This desire is justified and realizable. Many people saw live the work of leading companies. But very few people understand what these leaders do to make the organization work as a system, and to make people assigned to certain roles cope with them with interest. What does the leader bring into the organization of teamwork and how does his role differ from the role of the manager and from other roles in the company? In our course, the best practices of leadership will be analyzed in detail and schematized. You will look at them through the prism of the methodology of the modern systems approach.
What you will receive in the course
In addition to clarity in the head
Quickly build the team's work as a successful and efficient system
To persuade the team members with sincere interest "to play the assigned roles"
Construct the work so that it is performed well without constant supervision.
The course is recommended for managers-practioners who manage teams of 15 people and more, for participants in projects for changing business processes and reorganization, for HR managers and business coaches.

Especially this course will be useful if you have the following needs:
  • the need for work in interdisciplinary and cross-functional teams;
  • work with distributed and virtual teams; frequent changes in projects;
  • launch of large and non-typical projects.
Course program



hours (11:30-19:30)
1.1. Place and role of systems leadership in the company's activities
  • traditional leadership and modern systems approach;
  • system scheme of the enterprise, the role of the entrepreneur, manager and leader;
  • the difference between the leader and the manager, from the team and management of the company point of view
  • with whom and with what the systems leader works;
  • a maturity model of leadership and distributed leadership.

1.2. What is the practice of systems leadership
      • what knowledge and skills should be present before setting the practice of systems leadership;
      • system environment of the systems leadership practice;
      • defining the practice of systems leadership, including requirements for practice and the architecture of practice.

      2.1. How to set and master the practice of systems leadership.
          • how to realize that you need the practice of systems leadership, how to convince the direction and the team;
          • three main scenarios of setting practice;
          • choice of IT solution supporting implementation of practice;
          • what to do if something went wrong;
          • transition from leadership to maintaining efficiency in the workplace.

          2.2. Business game "Roles of the leader and manager in conditions of organizational changes"
              • goals, principles and rules of the Game: alpha, deeds, patterns and resources of leadership, identification of the system of interest of organizational change, life cycle planning, identification of 4 major stakeholder groups;
              • three stages of the Game: "Beginning of Organization changes", "Realization of Organizational changes", "Transition to Constant Improvements".

              This course is taught by
              Alexander Turkhanov
              Program manager, business architect
              Alexander is engaged in the development and teaching of courses on systems leadership, systems management and engineering of the enterprise. His task is to unite the work of systems engineers, managers and business architects within the framework of development and improvement cycles.
              Tuition fees
              starts 29.09
              25 000
              Package "Standard": video and materials of the course
              45 000
              Package "VIP": same as standard + mentoring during 4 months.
              You really want but cannot join full-time course? Then join us online!
              Pick type of enrollment in the page that appear after you click on the button "I want to join group".
              Что дает применение современных практик лидерства*

              *по данным исследования Deloitte
              Interview about the course of systems leadership
              - What is systems leadership, in a nutshell?
              - It is leadership with the use of systems approach. In short, I began to see into what is"lead the people, the team" in fact. It turned out that content has not changed much for 5,000 years, it means seeing changes in the surrounding world, creating a strategy to optimally use these changes, changing the structure of the organization so that it could implement this strategy, and "load" the strategy and the new structure of the organization into the people, so that they would fulfill it. The problem with the old approach was that when you try to explain how to apply it to a modern enterprise, the talk is delayed until the MBA's conditional course, which still requires several years of practical experience both before and after. The system approach allows you to quickly talk about it and quickly learn the subject.

              - How fast?
              - During the first year there is a noticeable progress, for full training you need 1.5 years, I think.

              - Wow fast.
              - It depends on what you compare it to. MBA only teaches for 1.5 years, while here all knowledge is set in the mind for 2 days of classes, plus read the literature for a couple of months, then consolidate skills.

              - If you give the same content of the material as MBA, why does the speed of learning increase?
              - For a long time the systems approach could not be successfully applied to people, sociotechnical systems are too complex and change unpredictably. But since 95th there have been serious shifts, which the classic leadership courses have missed. I checked Cursor and University programs. The last textbooks there have dates of year 85-86th. However, since then the world has changed a lot, it just has changed for system engineers, it has not changed for classical psychologists or corporate managers.

              -"Can you name what has changed?"
              - If we take essential things, the transition of the notion of "corporate governance" into the domain of business architecture, the separation of the actorial understanding of stakeholders and the understanding of stakeholders as such representation of life cycle practices, the life cycles became multidimensional, nowadays they link the market opportunities, requirements and architecture of the system and team with its technology and work on the creation of the system. There was a consideration of the human factor and limited rationality, human emotions.

              - Listen, and where all these changes happened, if you say that business missed them? If business missed them, it's all desk-workings, not confirmed by anything?
              - "I did not say that. I said that the classic business missed them. However, corporations where systems engineers were in the management - the automobile industry, aerospace, military, there is a modern leadership, I took everything from there.

              - From military service and aerospace? Did they send you the materials?

              - You will not believe, it all exists in the public domain. I felt like I am a hacker, when I was analyzing the process of assembling the multifunctional teams in the US Department of Defense and NASA.

              - Fine, but I know that all of these military and aerospace documents are thick, it is impossible to explain this material in two days.

              - Yes, I squeezed water out of hundreds of pages of documentation and left only 3 schemes, they can tell you all of it.

              - It sounds unrealistic.

              - The same work was done by Anatoly Levenchuk with the allocation of the actual system thinking from the system-engineering standards. Out of the hundreds of pages, several diagrams and a hundred slides were produced, a very compact story.

              - Listen, and what for in general the system approach is and especially in leadership?
              - The systems approach is gaining popularity, consider Simon Wardley and his technique wardley mapping, the same version of the systems approach. He does not take into account modern methods of thinking, for example, 4D, life cycles he uses are out of date, but this is clearly systems approach. Look at the number of views of his video, he is popular. There is a problem with the leadership, and in recent years it has become critical, if you rely on the results of the survey of the same Deloitte University Human Capital Trends and on personal feelings and conversations, it is a huge problem. The number of performers is growing dramatically, there are not enough timlids and mid-level managers who could unite teams and think cross-functional, taking into account both business aspects and technical and human aspects. Why send everyone on the MBA to considering its cost and effectiveness?

              - I heard sarcasm.
              - There is some. Business has changed, life has changed, the education we have is taught by textbooks and models of the mid-eighties. Therefore, when creating the course, I was guided by the best examples and models, they are come. Two days of classes, then mentoring specific projects of participants, this is how there will be a result.

              - Good. But the whole story with an analytical approach to people - is a strategy, based on it we build the structure of the organization and corporate governance, then we teach people new roles -it sounds too technical, don't you think so? People are not machines, after all.
              - About people not being machines, go to the public authorities, there are people-instructions, they are no worse than robots. Whether they will pass the Turing test or not is a big question. Seriously, the human factor and limited rationality of people, of course, are the most serious factors that limit the use of systems leadership. Therefore, I have a very great deal of attention to this topic in the first half of the training, this is the so-called fitness of the systems leadership - human factor and human reliability, team resources management, modern theory of emotions and feelings, emotional competence, practical project logic and a number of other things which are very little spoken about in the classic team leadership training.

              -"Everything you said sounds familiar, except for managing the resources of the team, what is it?"
              - This is what is called line management, supervising. How to manage the attention, strength and thinking resources of the team. Meaning, it's not about the organization, but about leadership, (how to drive using someone else's hands.) In this area, there have been changes that have gone past the classic corporate management as well, which provides material from the 1970s on the transactional and transformational leadership, made on the basis of combat manuals or as it is in the US field manual.

              - So, what is the key difference from how you call it "military regulations"?
              - Conditionally, the main principle of the previous generation training materials about supervising "I'm the boss, you're a fool, the boss cannot be wrong," there are a lot of empirical rules, there are no schemes for managing attention, and mechanisms for predicting the situation are not disclosed, what is called situational awareness in English, Simon Wardley speaks well about it by the way. You just memorize them, it takes a lot of time, not everyone has it.

              - And what's wrong with this principle?
              - Times when the leader was the boss, have passed even long ago in the army. These times should pass in corporations especially, otherwise they will not survive. Now leadership should be distributed, rely on the analysis of organization's networks (ONA), be goal-oriented (popular now OKR), actively use IT solutions. It's time to stop declaring that people are our key asset, it's time to do something in this direction. If you will ask people "well, people are your key asset, how much do you value them?", And in response you get silence. And if the asset is not valued, then on the basis of what you say that it is valuable? It is free, yes, dismiss anyone, do whatever you want, it does not affect the indicators, no one will tell you anything. So they fire people and let engineers and specialists leave, people on whom the whole direction holds. Or they save five cents by not taking training of critical processes, and then they receive contractual failures, emergency work and constant "extinguishing of fires".

              - If you summarize what you have said briefly, what would you say?
              - Nowadays there are many people who are engaged in "digitalization of business". In the standard organization of the process, you have to link the cycles of strategy, the development of the business architecture, the IT architecture and the system landscape with development programs, training and work with hiring and staff reserve. In fact, it turns out that there are several more duplicating systems, it is necessary to keep a dozen new reference books, but how it works and what benefits it brings no one can explain. New organizational capabilities, business capabilities, do not appear, there is no such kind of emergence. Plus, during organizational changes people incorrectly define the boundaries of the system of interest that is being changed, there is not enough understanding of the socio-technical systems, neither the authorities, nor the resources for change. In other words, current models for working with people have become too inaccurate, it's like Newtonian physics at near-light speeds. Now everything is changing too fast, old laws give failures and incorrect predictions, a new model is needed. Yes, new model is more complicated, not everyone have mastered the special theory of relativity even the version of it from scientists in the early 20th century, but a hundred years later it somehow became a common place. The same will happen with the leadership.

              Read other researches about systems leadership

              The transition from old rules to new ones is the strategic task of modern companies.
              New organizational models also require a new approach to leadership. Leaders of networked teams in agile organizations require skills such as negotiation, resilience, and systems thinking»
              Deloitte University Global Human Capital Trends 2017 [1]
              The strategy of the enterprise consists of cycles of development and improvement of practices. According to the studies of [1] and [2]:
              77% of organizations are restructuring organizations these days, 7% are going to do it in the future;
              78% of top managers consider the practice of performance in the workplace (performance management) important or very important;
              78% of top managers consider the practice of leadership to be important or very important.

              Performance management is used in cycles of improvement, leadership is used in development cycles. The right balance between them is an architectural solution for your organization.

              According to a study by Robert Simons from Harvard Business School, conducted according to 120 field studies, the correct balance between development and improvement can be achieved through the correct structure of the matrix organization. Simons developed this thesis in his later work [5].
              The key conclusion of Simons' research is that the divisions of the company begin to look for opportunities and practice the entrepreneurial approach when responsibility for the result is much greater than their available resources. And the more this gap between the control zone and the zone of responsibility, the higher the result is.

              People who work in the mode of resource scarcity needs leadership of a new generation. Authoritarian models with a supervisor who is responsible for the entire result, work only if you have a very competent supervisor, and people are certainly loyal to him. Only 14% of modern top managers [1] believe that organizations of this type can be effective. The concept of the leader-hero is not scaled and Google, Lyft, WL Gore, Mastercard, Atlassian look at leadership as a team effort, where leaders complement each other and work together [1].

              According to the Sberbank study "30 facts about modern youth," an authoritarian leadership model is not suitable for young employees, they want more responsibility for both actions and results (see also [9]).

              According to the study [3], the answer to this request from workers under the age of 30 years is the distributed leadership model. 86% of HR specialists recognize that the development of leadership for them is one of the main problems and it is closely related to the management of efficiency and business results of the company (ibid.).

              Leadership is especially important in digital transformation, it needs a restructuring of how leaders think, act and react [7].
              The transition to new performance management practices in the workplace leads to improved involvement in 90% of cases, in 96% of cases workflows are simplified, 83% say that the quality of dialogue between managers and subordinates has grown [6]. During the period 2015-2017 the share of HR specialists who believe that the efficiency management process benefits their organizations has grown from 8 to 75% [8]. Only 11% of companies do not intend to revise their performance management systems, and Adobe, Juniper and Microsoft generally refuse rating system in terms of indicators, because they have a negative impact on culture, involvement and self-reliance (ibid.).
              New models of performance management are aimed at teams, managers evaluation of subordinates. They are aimed at developing strengths of team members and mutual support.
              The course covers analyzation of the techniques of constructing and interacting of 4 types of teams:
              1. Spaghetti teams of 4-6 people
              2. Teams with a "star structure" of 10-15 people
              3. Cloud Communities
              4. Targeted social networks

              For each type of team, the purpose, characteristics, work processes and weknesses are disassembled. Practical tools of organizational behaviorism on the EAST model are given, the model was developed by the Behavioral Insight Team. The theoretical bases of the discipline of leadership are analyzed on the basis of the social three-level connection between people.

              In addition, the relationship between field research data and practical enterprise strategies is shown.

              The theoretical part of the training is supported by three exercises to develop and implement the division strategy. You will act as the head of the technical support (Helpdesk) of the financial group during the reorganization process and you will have to make key decisions to manage your team during this reorganization. Exercises are closely related to the theoretical material of the training.
              As a result of the training, you will receive a customized collection of game charts (playbook) for projects of organizational changes. You will learn how to properly use such applications as and in your leadership training programs.



              [4] Accountability and Control as Catalysts for Strategic Exploration and Exploitation: Field Study Results

              [5] The Entrepreneurial Gap: How Managers Adjust Span of Accountability and Span of Control to Implement Business Strategy

              [6] David Rock, Beth Jones, and Camille Inge, Reengineering performance management: How companies are evolving PM beyond ratings, NeuroLeadership Institute, 2015

              [7] Gerald Kane et al., Strategy, not technology, drives digital transformation, MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte University Press, 2015, accessed December 21, 2016.



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              Course "Fundamentals of System Leadership": starts 29.09
              2 full weekends

              In the two-day course "Fundamentals of System Leadership" advanced leadership practices will be detailed and schematized. You will look at these practices through the prism of the modern system approach methodology. During the course you will learn how to apply these practices using the example of the business game "Leader and manager roles in terms of organizational changes", you will get basic skills for applying these leadership practices in your daily work.
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