Resolving Wicked Problems
We help you address 'wicked problems', characterised as VUCA in nature (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous): We can envisage the world of business challenges in a number of categories characterised by the levels of uncertainty over ends and means, ranging from 'tame' to 'wicked', or 'black and white' to 'grey':
Wicked problems are those where:
- A shared vision is vital if energy, money and time are to be well spent
- Current solutions are not good enough, needing great ideas and conversion of those ideas into viable innovations
- Internal staff are too close to the topic or it is surrounded by conflicting views and politics, resulting in stasis
- The overall direction of travel and / or routes to realise the vision are unclear. In extremis, we call the bottom right hand quadrant the 'swamp'
Leaders understand that much competitive success lies in resolving 'wicked problems' i.e. VUCA shaped issues where 'off the shelf' solutions are ill-fitting, inadequate or even dangerous. The results of our interventions are a reduction in the size of the grey areas of the matrix or a 'draining of the swamp'.
How we can help
Examples of our work
- Helped a major pharmaceutical company pre-empt a change in competitor strategy using scenario planning and systems thinking with impact measurable in millions.
- Helped a train company implement a cross organisation computer system against a backdrop of poor adoption of such systems in the past.
- Reviewed project management practice for a company concerned to eliminate poorly constituted projects and maximise the opportunity from projects with the best risk : return profile.
- Enabled Amnesty International to achieve growth through a strategic review, stakeholder consultation and improved co-operation with the unions.
- Facilitated Kent County Council leaders to make informed decisions about new products and technologies in social care and health.
How do we begin?
- Step 1: Ambition - Initial consultation to clarify your needs and expectations about how we will work together. Thus you get to sample our work at no risk or cost to yourself.
- Step 2: Proposal - We provide a full proposal which gives you a 'map of the territory' and options for further consideration. This allows you to choose the most elegant solution to your needs.
- Step 3: Decision - You decide the most preferred option for the consultancy to take, giving consideration to how it will best fit your long term business strategy.
- Step 4: Delivery - We implement the agreed consultancy using the most effective and efficient route. This means that you commit only those opportunity resources that are really needed. We maintain communications and support to ensure that you harvest the full benefits of the assignment.
We do not stay on any longer than is necessary for the changes to be
adopted by your people, thus minimising the problem of dependency from using external agents.