Summary of Systems Leadership

Looking for the video?
We have the summary! Get the key insights in just 5 minutes.

Systems Leadership summary
Start getting smarter:
or see our plans


7 Overall

7 Applicability

9 Innovation

6 Style


Take a seat in the virtual lecture hall of Stanford professor Banny Banerjee. A co-creator of design thinking, Banerjee explains that although its human-centered approach is ideal for some problems, other issues are vast, intertwined, urgent and complex: Think poverty or food and energy shortages. Such systemic problems call for a new innovation method and mind-set. getAbstract believes leaders, designers, policy makers and anyone pitted against a massive problem will benefit from this cerebral plunge into “systems leadership.”

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why design thinking can’t solve every problem;
  • How to tackle challenges that are “scaled, complex, urgent, integrated, nonlinear, critical” and “insidious”;
  • What qualities define transformative leaders.

About the Speaker

Professor Banny Banerjee directs Stanford ChangeLabs and teaches Design Innovation and Strategy at Stanford.



Many people are working to curb poverty; cut carbon emissions; increase supplies of food, energy and water; and slow extinctions by 2030. Yet confidence regarding these vital goals is low. The problems are entangled: Increasing food and water supplies uses more energy. And consuming more energy means churning out extra emissions. Plus, these issues face tipping points, and humans are their own adversaries in each case. How do you tackle such “scaled, complex, urgent, integrated, nonlinear, critical” and “insidious” challenges? Today’s thinkers and problem solvers hail from a time and culture that created these crises. To achieve new outcomes, they must transcend and reframe the social conditioning they currently embrace. The right idea or method is whatever gets new results. Beyond a new methodology, this approach is a mind-set of targeting the “seemingly impossible.”

Comment on this summary

More on this topic

Customers who read this summary also read

More by category