Acknowledging we have “Wicked Problems” – Week 1

Originally written 05/05/2016

Hello Systems Thinkers,

Today’s inaugural session went very well I thought.  I thoroughly enjoyed the discussion and can see we’re going to be able to help one another with our “wicked Problems”.

We’ve Got Wicked Problems

Before I recap on what we did and agreed today, for those who couldn’t make it, I want to point out what the homework is for next week’s session.  We’ve agreed we’re going to read the linked paper on “wicked problems”.  It’s excellent and will help us gain an idea of what these complex problems are, that they’re the types of problems we’re faced with as commissioners, and why standard linear problem solving techniques aren’t enough on their own.

We’ll Meet Weekly

We’ve decided we’re going to meet on a weekly basis and try to keep the sessions to just 1 hour.  It’s appreciated not everyone is going to be able to make it every week, but we thought it worth trying to build some momentum and cover some ground.  It will be good to get through a reasonable amount of theory quite quickly so we can get on with working on real example projects together and even helping one another with real commissioning issues.

Learning Materials

Stuart Burge, a fellow INCOSE member and founding partner of the Burge Hughes Walsh Partnership has made available loads of resources detailing how to then do the various aspects of systems thinking through his website.  Have a look here:

Our thinking is that we’ll pick a different download from the list each week, and read it before we meet and then discuss how to apply it in the group and work on examples together.  It might be that we need to take several weeks for some of the bigger concepts/tools, but that’s fine.

Before we dive into that though, we’ve agreed to spend next week’s meeting discussing “wicked problems”.  They’re basically the starting point and the reason we need to employ systemic approaches.  As mentioned above, we’ve some homework to do, so please do read the attached paper.

OK, I look forward to seeing you next week.  In the meantime, please do feel to ask me any questions.


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