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Wicked Challenges ™
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Overview of HARD TO 'SOLVE'

Introducing the forth Essential Element which is HARD TO 'SOLVE' .. in that the organisation is more than likely to have already failed a number of times in seeking a successful solution.

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Tell us your challenge

So when it comes to the Essential Elements we've got the Fourth Essential Element, which is that it's 'Hard to Solve' and we've put in the paper 'solve' in apostrophes and the reason for that is because you solve a problem. But with a challenge, particularly a Wicked Challenge within an organisation, you overcome it or 'resolve' it.

What we found in our experience is that actually an organisation may have failed to 'solve' it a number of times, so that might not necessarily be true, but if they have tried they may well have failed.

Back to the story we mentioned against Multiple Perspectives just unpack that in terms of the 'Six Men of Indostan'.

“Yes, I think we saw basically that they all had a different perspective of the elephant based on where they were in contact with it. And I think that that often makes problems hard to solve in an organisation because people are often locked into silos, they locked into jargon and particular language that relates to their area of expertise and that makes it difficult for them to get that common perspective.”

One of our key things must be to get people in that same room and trying to get them to see the same picture that we are aiming to solve. An acceptance of resolve which is to satisfy switches to satisfy or suffice to set that expectation that something that has been defined will be improved and be better, but it's not necessarily solved because a Wicked Challenge is so hard to pin down, there needs to be a realistic expectation as to what the outcome is going to be.

It's important that we recognise that in these kind of discussions there will always be trade offs, there will always be concessions that need to be made in order to resolve the problems instead of solve it from one particular narrow perspective.


Time to see your trickiest challenges in an innovative new way! In this paper, we identify a different kind of challenge that could be inhibiting or worse risking your whole organisation. We describe it's Essential and Supplementary Elements and provide a Six IT approach to resolving it.