Building resilience with a systems dynamics approach

Watch the full recorded broadcast above.

As members of a global community, we have each been impacted by the pandemic. Disruption across critical supply chains, financial markets, and customer relationships has made business and government acutely aware of that interdependence. It is not uncommon in such times of disruption to focus on the here and now, but it is even more important to keep the long term in view. Understanding dynamic systems assures sustained high performance for organizations and fosters resilient communities.

On July 16, 2020, The Ivey Academy hosted a complimentary livestream featuring Ivey professor Tima Bansal, Executive Director of the Network for Business Sustainability and faculty director of Dynamic Design for an Interconnected World. As a Canada Research Chair and inductee to the Royal Society of Canada, Tima is a global leader in sustainability research. Together we discussed some key insights from the Ivey Innovation Learning Lab, and explored ways that leaders at all levels can approach innovation with systems dynamics.

Key webinar content

Core topics

  • What is dynamic systems design?
  • Major disruptions that are on most people’s radar
  • Dynamic systems as they relate to sustainability, community health, and long-term goals
  • How should organizations define success?
  • The tendency to think short-term in the midst of disruption
  • The circular economy
  • Is the global pandemic prompting leaders to step back and reflect? Or are businesses solely concerned with survival?
  • The best way to make the case for adopting a dynamic systems approach in your own organization
  • The Ivey Innovation Learning Lab
  • Incentive systems to reward more systemic thinking and decision-making
  • Advice on how to implement a systems view
  • Future perfect thinking and backcasting
  • How organizations can operate in a manner where they are prepared for any uncertainty or disruption

Memorable quotes

“Eighty-seven per cent of all clothes that are produced go into landfill within a year. On average, people wear an item of clothing seven times. One third of industrial water pollution is caused from the production of textiles.” – Tima Bansal

“Smart people know what’s going on in the world. The smart people want to work for companies that are responding to what’s going on in the world. We all know we want to work for a company that is inspirational.” – Tima Bansal

“The way that we’ve been thinking about business has had its day, and we need a new way of approaching the way we manage organizations.” – Tima Bansal

Additional reading

Resource library, Network for Business Sustainability
The Ivey Innovation Learning Lab
Don’t Confuse Sustainability with CSR, Ivey Business Journal
Dynamic Design for an Interconnected World


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About The Ivey Academy at Ivey Business School
The Ivey Academy at Ivey Business School is the home for executive Learning and Development (L&D) in Canada. It is Canada’s only full-service L&D house, blending Financial Times top-ranked university-based executive education with talent assessment, instructional design and strategy, and behaviour change sustainment. 

Rooted in Ivey Business School’s real-world leadership approach, The Ivey Academy is a place where professionals come to get better, to break old habits and establish new ones, to practice, to change, to obtain coaching and support, and to join a powerful peer network. Follow The Ivey Academy on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Associated Faculty

Tima Bansal

Tima Bansal

Professor, General Management, Sustainability & Strategy