Teaching the
optimum blend
and high-touch. 

Systems Thinking Institute LLC

PO Box 151
Cedar Creek, Texas USA

The CST Designator, Certified Systems Thinker

Here is an outline of the journey to achieve the CST, certified systems thinker, designator granted by the Systems Thinking Institute LLC.


Submit three “case studies” describing your typical client engagements along with three peer 360° feedback surveys. The content, not the format, is important. We do not require our own 360s.

The Actual Certification


Learn: Complete all 9 modules of the systhink methodology, q.v., The ChaLLEnge of Change.

Do: then demonstrate assimilation of the material by providing three case studies, delivered through the course of your training and reflecting the growth at each level:

  • novitiate
  • journeyman
  • craftsman
where you have implemented the systhink techniques, including client feedback on (a) what this approach has meant to them (the client(s)), and (b) how it has changed their outlook.

Check: The penultimate stage is that a currently certified systhink trainer team-teaches an engagement with you, to experience y.o.u.r. style and what you would bring to the STBOK, the Systems Thinking Body of Knowledge, and approves you for board-level review by issuing a pending certification, which in all but exceptional cases is validated by the board.

Act: Finally, to achieve this board certification, you must contribute three hours per quarter of volunteer service, for three consecutive quarters, to advance the message of systems thinking and the value of STBOK certification, within your local community and professional associations. This can be accomplished by authoring a white paper, by a free community information event, by speaking at a club meeting or industry conference. In short, you must commit to being an effective voice for the Institute and its goal of bringing the value of certification to the business community as a whole.

The investment to achieve certified STBOK status and the CST designator, is as follows:
  • The ChaLLEnge seminar, LifeLong Enrichment: the ChaLLEnge of Change, has a tuition of $2500 when taken in the certification track, whereas it is $6000 for the 40 contact hours, profiling and follow-ups when provided in a corporate setting. This 58% discount reflects our commitment to fellow practitioners who want to advance in their skills.
  • The certification board review and actual issuing process itself has a $300 fee to cover the overhead cost of personnel, database updates and board briefings & materials.
  • Annual renewals are $125 plus the three hours per quarter of industry service.
  • Certified STBOK consultants are automatically full affiliates of the Institute and have full access to all Institute-sponsored conferences, material and affiliate level access to the website, as it grows and matures.

    Affiliation w/o certification is possible, however, through a ThinDime™ tutorial track. For a $495 materials fee, $75 annual renewal and quarterly service commitment, individuals or organizations for whom the complete CST is beyond reach at the moment, may complete a streamlined curriculum on a modified schedule that retains the core value yet does not permit one to teach or represent the Institute, use the logo/seal etc. It requires that the consultant/firm agree in principle to the standards of practice (“the creed”) forthcoming in the STBOK, which will be available for purchase spring 2011.

    The standards themselves are simple yet continually challenging to uphold.

    Review the Certified Systems Thinkers' Creed. 

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