January 2017

Navigating Complexity: Implementing Change in Unpredictable Times

Status: Advanced registration is now closed. Please contact Jaishree Narsih at [email protected] if you are interested in registering.
Date: Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Time: 8:30 AM-9:00 AM: Registration and Continental Breakfast
9:00 AM-4:00 PM: Navigating Complexity: Implementing Change in Unpredictable
Location: Best Western Plus Chateau Granville (Burrard Room) 1100 Granville Street Vancouver, BC
Presenter: Gary Wong, P.Eng., MBA
Gary Wong & Associates
Credit: 6 Formal Professional Development Hours (PDH)
Cost: Early Bird Price Engineers and Geoscientists BC Member: $349.00 + GST = $366.45 until Jan 10, 2017

Engineers and Geoscientists BC Member and EIT/GIT Regular Price: $449.00 + GST = $471.45

Non-Member Price: $449.00 + GST = $471.45

Student Member Price: $224.50 + GST = $235.73
Please Note: *A minimum number of registrations are needed by January 10, 2017 to proceed with this seminar. Please register early to avoid cancellation.
**All prices are subject to applicable taxes.
Contact: Jaishree Narsih | Professional Development Coordinator
Direct: 604.412.4865
Toll Free: 1.888.430.8035 ext.4865
Fax: 604.639.8180
Email: [email protected]
This session will emphasize implementing change is to make sense and influence the evolutionary potential of the Present rather than invest in a Future that one faithfully hopes will materialize. A typical change management project has a starting and an ending point. The evolutionary approach is ongoing and focuses on building sustainability and resilience.

Seminar Description

There are many change models available in the marketplace. The spectrum stretches from the academically researched to experiential “best practices” brands. Some share a common scientific management view of an organization as a machine and its people as components. Many adhere to a linear staged-process: evaluate readiness, design strategy, develop plan, execute plan, close. The common beliefs are that idealistic future goals and objectives can be defined, gaps closed by introducing technology and adjusting worker behaviour, and metrics can drive performance. The future can be reasonably and rationally predicted.

But what if the change outcome you desire faces complexity in terms of confusion, ambiguity, volatility, uncertainty? Deploying an inappropriate change method can lead to the emergence of unintended negative consequences and increase the likelihood of change initiative failure.

This offering is the second in an APEGBC complexity science series. The key take-way in the first session is appreciating why you cannot manage, simplify, nor control complexity; you must absorb and navigate through it.

The prime message in this session on implementing change is to make sense and influence the evolutionary potential of the present rather than invest in a future that one faithfully hopes will materialize. A typical change management project has a starting and an ending point. The evolutionary approach is ongoing and focuses on building sustainability and resilience.

Learning Objectives

After the session, participants will be able to:
  • Understand why different thinking is required in a complex adaptive system.
  • Determine what appropriate change strategy to develop.
  • Learn how to use 3 tools: Narrative Inquiry, Data Visualization and Safe-to-Fail Experiments.

Course Outline:


The 21st century is different
  • Age of cognitive complexity, complex adaptive systems.


Evlolving the change practice.
  • Change management vs. change leadership.
  • Diagnostic categorization vs. dialogic sense-making.
  • Waterfall vs. agile planning.
  • Inductive business case vs. abductive value proposition.
  • Organizational hierarchy vs. CAS networks.
  • Disruptive transformation vs. coherent evolution.


Managing the change process.
  • Cynefin Framework.
  • Narrative (stories) cf. traditional surveys, interviews.
  • Visualizing patterns in stories.
  • Safe-to-fail experimentation.
  • Heuristics as simple rules to deal with complex situations.

Target Audience

Engineering professionals and associates involved in implementing change or being impacted by a change initiative.

Making sense of today’s work environment and applying a practical complexity-based approach to implementing change. 

No prerequisite required as a basic introduction to complexity science and the Cynefin framework is included.

Recommended: The “Navigating Complexity: Going Beyond Systems Thinking” course provides in-depth discussions on systems thinking vs. complexity thinking, reductionism vs. holism, robustness vs. resilience, knowledge vs. ignorance.


Gary Wong, P.Eng., MBA

Gary Wong & Associates

Gary Wong has over 40 years of experience starting with his career at BC Hydro where he worked in engineering, line operations, business consulting and training roles. He later joined Ernst & Young Consulting (now Capgemini Consulting) as a Senior Manager in Strategy & Transformation. During his association with the global consulting firm he acted as a lead practitioner for Change Management in Canada and the local Knowledge Management coordinator in the Vancouver office.

Gary has operated his own independent consulting practice over the past decade. He also is a FranklinCovey training consultant for programs such as the 7 Habit of Highly Effective People. As an accredited training partner with Cognitive-Edge Inc., Gary co-developed and co-delivers a 2-day complexity-based Creating & Leading a Resilient Safety Culture course.

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