Saturday, November 14, 2015

Working Smarter to Address Wicked Problems

 When we face wicked problems and it feels as if we've tried everything to fix them and nothing seems to work, it's easy to walk away. I admire the courage of those who stick with it and keep fighting. I wish I could help them.  There has to be something I can do.

We need to find ways to work smarter.  We need double-loop learning, we need to reassess our assumptions, our entire models.  Terrorism is a wicked problem. The solution isn't more of the same response. We need a smarter response.  And we need to accelerate our ability to learn and adapt, whether it is to keep ahead of the competition or to defeat a constantly morphing enemy.

Unfortunately, it can be a matter of life and death.

Quick Definitions

Wicked problems: A wicked problem is a problem that is difficult or impossible to solve because of incomplete, contradictory, and changing requirements that are often difficult to recognize.  The term was coined by Horst Rittel.

Double-loop learning: "Single-loop learning" is the repeated attempt at the same problem, with no variation of method and without ever questioning the goal.  Double-loop learning requires changing underlying values and assumptions to redefine the goal. The term was coined by Chris Argyris.
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