This course is designed to be an introduction to the challenges of adapting to the rapidly changing conditions that we all face as our workplace becomes more automated, as our assumptions surrounding our skills sets become outdated, and as new additions to the decision-making process—such as big data—increases the need to cope with exponential complexity. This approach to understanding what it means to adapt and to remain flexible extends to almost every profession. To a future practitioner it's creating a mindset that supports diversity of viewpoints by remaining open to new ways of thinking in order to facilitate creativity and innovation. From a macro-perspective, students are made aware of alternative ways of framing change initiatives either as incremental or transformational events within an organization. From this viewpoint they are then able to search for appropriate strategies designed to optimize present and future resources. Over the years management theory has evolved from adopting best practices as a prescriptive approach to solving problems to one that incorporates the latest research in mindfulness as a method for slowing down the process, creating a brief moment of stability, deconstructing the issues, and generating multiple alternatives that address present concerns. A learning experience of this type poses many interesting philosophical perspectives and provides a foundation for better understanding the complex decision-making matrices that drive most organizational dynamics.
Harvard Extension School
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