18/04, 23/05 & 20/06/2024 – Deep Dive

Next level systemic thinking tools for leaders: facilitating integrated decision-making

This program is designed to support executives in crucial leadership transitions, namely those related to the need to think and decide more broadly, let go of the ego, and realize stronger connections in collaboration from there on, on the other.

The program is organized alternately in Dutch and English.  This program has since the start been integrated into several internal management development programs and is organized for consultancy groups. If you are interested in this, please contact Jan De Visch.

As a participant, you will learn the following:

– observe your assumptions and thinking patterns and make them workable;

– identify problems and issues before they become intractable;

– effectively identify, clarify, and leverage relevant perspectives to improve the quality of decisions;

– determine when and to what extent collaboration is appropriate in a given decision-making context;

– facilitate and participate in effective collaborative decision-making;

– create an environment conducive to effective communication, collaboration, and decision-making;

This coping with complexity program provides the foundation to help teams work together thinking together. The focus is on influencing the depth and breadth with which problems and challenges are considered and, by extension, moving toward more comprehensive, more integrative decision-making.

As a participant, you learn to observe the thought structures of others and the ones you use yourself, allowing you to begin to think about what you have not thought about at the time. We also practice thought-opening questions extensively, allowing you to better manage the co-reflective process in teams. Executives discover how to conduct more effective strategic and innovation dialogues. Facilitators broaden their intervention repertoire and will be able to encourage teams to self-direct more effectively.

The program runs over three days.

Day 1 (18/4)

Morning: How can we begin to think about what we are not yet thinking about?

In this introductory session, we outline the more profound thinking framework. This is based on the four principles of dialectical thinking, namely how to start from:

  1. The larger encompassing whole when approaching problems (everything is both a “part of” and a “larger whole for”).
  2. Dynamism and constant change (everything that exists is in motion).
  3. Essential coherence (everything is connected).
  4. Metamorphosis (everything changes form). 

Afternoon: Part-Whole Thinking: To what extent is “our subject” part of a broader context?

In this session, we will practice part-whole thinking questions. We make you aware that the logical defensibility of your arguments is related to the context, the larger whole (the first principle of dialectical thinking). Part-whole thinking is thinking in structures, how something is part of a functional or layered whole or takes on a different interpretation from different contexts.

Day 2 (23/5)

Morning: Process Thinking: What “evolutions” affect our understanding of the topic?

In this session, we will practice process thinking questions. These are based on the second principle of dialectical thinking: constant change. These thinking questions create insight into how something moves toward something else and, thus how we can recognize a subject’s history. We also invite you to reflect on how your perspective on the past, present, and future determines your process perspective. This begins by pointing out how something comes into being, how an antithesis follows a thesis and can then be brought to a synthesis, what patterns of development are involved, and how from different dynamics of development, the same thing can evolve differently.

Afternoon: Cohesion Thinking: How is the ‘one’ connected to the ‘other’? What does the relationship look like?

In this session, we will practice coherence thinking questions. These are based on the third principle of dialectical thinking: commonality and connection. Cohesion thinking counterbalances the logical-analytical categorization and fragmentation of events, ideas, or experiences. It helps us to regain sight of the totality. It begins by pointing out that you cannot see certain things in isolation, then make the specific connections explicit. Finally, it connects the connected elements to the implicit cohesions of which they are a part and shape their identities.

Day 3 (20/06)

Morning: Metamorphosis Thinking: What tensions, imbalances, and transformation challenges are associated with the “subject”?

In this session, we will practice metamorphosis thinking questions. These are based on the fourth dialectical thinking principle, metamorphosis, and transformation. One encounters transformational processes early on when a caterpillar’s growth into a butterfly is explained in biology class. The word metamorphosis means that something radically changes shape. In today’s business world, the word transformation is often used as a synonym for change, preferably through a simple roadmap. Thinking metamorphically, however, requires being able to:

  1. Identify the fragile boundaries that define systems.
  2. Determine the potential for development that results from that fragility.
  3. Work out how to change the form in a coordinated way.

This requires handling the previous three classes of thinking: (1) how stratification changes (part-whole), (2) what needs to be rethought from the history or future perspective (dynamic), and (3) how the new entity builds a different coherence with the environment, i.e., the other entities (coherence).

Afternoon: Integration

In this session, we integrate what we have learned and dwell extensively on how to guide thought-opening dialogues. 


Jan De Visch and Andreas Bierwolf will facilitate the sessions. It is organized on online. We start promptly at 9 a.m., to finish at 5 p.m.

The participation fee for this online session is 900 Euros (excluding VAT). You can transfer this amount via PayPal. This way, you also confirm your registration.

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