The System Transformation Masterclass

Every industry, every sector is being disrupted. How do you successfully, systemically, and sustainably transform your organization and avoid being left behind?
Please note that due to the COVID-19 outbreak, our programs have been put on hold.

The key to staying on the front foot lies in a simple yet profound shift in your perspective, process, and mindset - transform the system to give you the outcomes you want.

Join the Masterclass series and experience our three modules, each taking a different lens to build your ability to affect system transformation.

Apply to join the upcoming masterclass

How do you make systemic change in complex systems?

We live in an era marked by change. Decision makers and leaders must deal with rapid changes in business models, market forces, technological platforms, resource scarcity, competitive landscapes, and global challenges. Our current modes of leadership and decision making might have been appropriate for situations with more predictability and stability, but they now need to be more “fit-for-purpose” for dealing with external change, while taking advantage of the opportunities that present themselves.

Our organization, business, and societal problems are not purely technological challenges or management ones, but are systems challenges that require new types of solutions. We can avoid the pitfalls of “system-blindness” by using the right approaches for meeting systems challenges with systemic solutions. Business innovation, technology innovation, and human centered design approaches need to be directed by systems based strategies in order to build robust resilient solutions.

The System Transformation Masterclass Series is a program designed to equip leaders and decision makers a holistic set of techniques, perspectives, and mindsets to succeed in the systems arena, where change, uncertainty, and scale are important factors. This is a program for strategists, leaders, managers, and decision makers, who want to make change in challenge spaces that are dynamic, multi-dimensional, multi-stakeholder, and require innovative solutions.

The System Transformation Masterclass Series

Attend the Masterclass Series to gain frameworks and tools that will help you meet challenges with the capacity to drive scalable success, and deep systemic impact.

The Three Modules

Each module in the System Transformation Masterclass Series is a highly interactive two-day workshop that will introduce you to Stanford ChangeLabs' powerful systems innovation approach.

Single module price: $3350
Two module bundled price: $5700
Three module bundled price: $9000

(For information on nonprofit prices, please contact Annette Zou:

1. System Acupuncture®: Rethinking Leadership and Innovation


How do you bring clarity to multi-dimensional challenges and know where to intervene in the system?

Many multi-dimensional challenges are hard to understand because conventional ways of solving problems are not designed to provide a holistic view of the challenge. With a systems perspective, an innovation mindset, and a guiding process, problems that seemed intractable and messy reveal creative and novel pathways towards new system outcomes.

Complexity cannot be wished away just because we want simplicity. Systems approaches involve both understanding complexity of the system, and innovating actionable pathways for system change. System Acupuncture® is a strategy and innovation approach that helps to understand the system, identify where to intervene, what to modify, and how to achieve sustained change.

2. Designing the Scale Advantage


Why do some businesses, strategies, products, and initiatives, never achieve scale?

In most cases, it is because they were not designed with scale in their DNA. Rather than leaving scale to a downstream phase, our approach creates the pre-conditions for scale, and then bakes in the propensity for scale early in the strategy phase.

Designing the Scale Advantage covers frameworks, principles, and mindsets for designing the scale advantage into your organizations, leadership teams, strategies, and initiatives with ready tools to maximize your organization's ability to make impact and unlock scaled opportunities. This module builds on the System Acupuncture® methodology, and focuses on topics that help you develop scaling strategies for your initiatives, products, and organization.

3. Mastering Systems Leadership


What are the key capacities that a leader needs so that their organization can thrive in the 21st century?

Systems Leadership is a leadership capacity that circumvents the profound limitations of the current leadership models that are simply not suited for the increasing complexity and change of our era.

Leaders of the 21st century need to have the confidence and capacity to navigate their organizations and teams through increasingly dynamic, complex, and rapidly changing challenges. Not playing the systems game creates a massive risk on two fronts (a) a risk of being disrupted or made irrelevant, and (b) the risk of not spotting massive opportunities for system change and market creation. Thus, two key capacities that leaders of the 21st century need are:
1) to respond to rapidly changing external forces
2) to envision a desired future and innovate practical yet transformative pathways towards achieving it.

Mastering Systems Leadership covers key mindsets and tools that an avant-garde leader needs to navigate complex systems to arrive at leveraged intervention designs while building an ecosystem that fosters agility and innovation.

The System Transformation Leadership Certificate

Upon completion of all three Modules of the System Transformation Masterclass Series, you will receive a System Transformation Leadership Certificate issued by Stanford ChangeLabs.

Additional Information

The experience

Each System Transformation Masterclass module is an intense interactive two-day workshop that will give you deep insights, theoretical principles, powerful frameworks, and hands-on tools that will immediately set you on a pathway to transform your personal and organizational impact.

Who should attend

This is a course for decision makers, strategists, and change-makers who are on a leadership track, who find themselves in dynamic, multi-dimensional, ambiguous, scaled, and complex challenges. This is for leaders who are willing to reframe the game they have been playing, transcend the “Business As Usual”, and build capacity for scaled value creation, resilience, and impact capacity in their teams and organizations.

Format of the module

Each module is a two-day in-person workshop at Stanford University with a break between two back-to-back modules, for internalizing the big wave of new insights, networking, hatching new plots, or enjoying the Bay Area. Going by our past experiences, your peers in the Masterclass will be as much of a source of information as the instructors are and you are encouraged to join our growing international Systems Leadership community.


What does the fee cover?
The fee covers the two day course and catering for lunch, with a light breakfast and refreshments throughout the day. Accommodation and travel will need to be arranged by participants.

Is there a discounted cost for not-for-profits?
Yes - please email Annette Zou ( to access the not-for-profit price.

Do I need to complete the Modules in a specific sequence to receive the System Transformation Leadership Certificate?
No - you do not need to complete the Modules in a particular sequence.

Can I join in via teleconference?
At this point, we won't be able to provide live remote participation options.

What are some accommodation options nearby campus?
Please visit the Stanford Lodging Guide for some accommodation options nearby campus:

Is there a dress code?
Business casual

I have dietary requirements - how do I notify you?
Make sure you carefully fill out the dietary requirements section of the registration form.

Some Thoughts from Past Participants

"The class is quite compact and dense, but it manages to bring out the most salient concepts and points, making it very relevant and eye opening. I'd like it to be taught at scale"

"I took the classes to get a higher perspective and get out of operation mode - it really stretched my brain and my thinking, and I have a framework and methods I can now internalize and use in a lot of complex situations and with very different stakeholders to create a vision that is both high achieving and actionable. Thank you!"

"The Masterclass gave such as hands-on process for working on complex challenges and leading system transformation. Systems Thinking is a powerful and essential tool if we're serious about addressing the greatest challenges of the 21st Century"
- Opportunity International

"In my 30 years as an institutional leader, I have attended numerous workshops - this is by far the most outstanding and transformative one"
- Imperial College Institute of Global Health Innovation

Apply and help us spread the word!

Apply to join the upcoming masterclass

Request a tailored System Transformation Class for your organization

If you would like to introduce systems innovation methodologies to your organization, we can help by tailoring our classes to your specific needs.

Make a request