System design is tricky business. Efforts that try to drive “systemic change” (if you can manage to actually get a project off the ground) often fix old problems while creating new ones.
Systems thinking is an approach often used in science and engineering to understand and analyze systems, its structures, and how seemingly unrelated elements interact with each other to create repeatable patterns. Systems are all around us, and humans create some of the most complicated systems.
A business is a system. It’s people, resources, products, culture, leadership and customers (and so on) work together in a unique way. By understanding these elements, the way in which they connect, and the true purpose they serve, we can better understand how it works and how to change it.
Please join Faten Hijazi, founder of SystemThink Inc, in conversation to learn more about the power and fragility of system design as it relates to business and leadership. Faten will draw upon her personal experience as a silicon design engineer, business leader, and strategist to provide relevant examples and case studies of how systems thinking can be used as a framework for design and organizational resilience.
About Faten Hijazi, Founder & CEO, SystemThink, Inc.
Faten Hijazi is the Founder of SystemThink, Inc, a company that helps businesses put systems thinking into practice so their products and people can thrive. By first understanding and analyzing existing behavior, business leaders can identify patterns unique to their organization and approach business management, strategy, and product development decisions from a place of curiosity, empathy, and sustainability.
Prior to founding SystemThink, Inc, Faten worked as a business/technology leader in silicon engineering, operations, business development and strategy. She started her career as a design engineer at Xilinx, and worked several years leading engineering teams in semiconductor chip design for telecommunications. She later combined her technical expertise with her passion for customer service and business finesse to manage multi-million dollar programs and set waning business lines on a path of record breaking growth. At Google she managed a team of technical program managers supporting Google’s cloud infrastructure where she developed a framework to digitally transform operations for data center cloud capacity management. Her framework was adopted by engineering and turned into a company-wide initiative.
Faten experienced first-hand the difficulty of driving systemic change, whether it was large-scale digital transformations or social issues like racial justice or gender equity. Some of the greatest companies, despite having access to amazing talent pools and advanced technological resources, still have difficulty achieving lasting, meaningful change. A business is a system, and systems default to the same behavior. The more complex the business, the more important it is to understand the underlying, intricate, and interdependent forces and patterns that keep it together.
Faten is passionate about the intersection of technology, human behavior, social justice, and the development of power structures to create common good. She believes system design is a fluid, dynamic process that requires constant feedback and redesign. Faten was raised in California and lives in the Bay Area with her husband and four children where she also diagnoses, tests, designs, and redesigns systems with them every day.