Penn's Coronavirus COVID-19 Update
2020 SAS summer courses will take place remotely. For undergraduates, please check Penn InTouch for updated summer course information. For graduate and professional students, please consult your schools and programs. Summer study abroad remains cancelled.

The College of Liberal and Professional Studies staff is working remotely to comply with University protocols as we navigate the COVID-19 virus. Penn is committed to maintaining a safe campus and workplace for faculty, students, staff, and visitors. While we are not onsite, we are still available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. by phone and online in case you need support: (215) 898-7326 or

Visit, the University's dedicated coronavirus COVID-19 web page, for the latest updates.

Systems and Design Thinking

You are here

Course Number: 
DYNM 666 900

McAdam, Barry

Course permits for non-DYNM students:
Course Description: 

This course is 80% asynchronous and 20% synchronous.This course is designed to challenge the traditional thinking of basic management strategy and practice and to show why organizations must learn to think differently.  This course takes a multidisciplinary approach to challenge participants to rethink their assumptions and move beyond the traditional practice of complex problem and management strategy formulation and execution.  The course will look at the challenges and opportunities that come from integrating Systems and Design Thinking to create more sustainable solutions. The prevailing pattern of thought employed by management is analytical.  A new pattern of thought is required: synthetic.  Systems thinking involve both analysis – to produce knowledge of organizations (systems) – and synthesis to provide understanding.  Without both, effective solutions to problems cannot be obtained. To go beyond understanding to wisdom requires awareness of the difference between doing things right (efficiency) and doing the right thing (effectiveness).  The better we do the wrong thing, the more wrong we become.  Today a great deal of energy is expended by organizations in an effort to increase the efficiency with which wrong things are done.  This course looks at how systems and design thinking can increase the chances of making the right decisions; doing the right thing.

Programs for every

type of student


Study online,

all summer long


Summer is the best season

to be a Penn student


Penn Summer

3440 Market Street, Suite 100
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3335

(215) 898-7326

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram