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The leadership challenges of wicked problems
Published on July 28, 2010 58 min
A selection of talks on Management, Leadership & Organisation
Psychological barriers to negotiation
- Prof. Andrea K. Schneider
- Marquette University School of Law, USA
Hello, my name is Keith Grint from Warwick Business School at Warwick University, and I'm here to talk about the leadership challenge of Wicked problems.
I want to talk, first of all, generally about the problem of change, and then what kind of a problem you're facing, whether it's Tame, Wicked or Critical. Then I'm going to look at elegant solutions to Tame and Critical problems. Finally, we're going to address Wicked problems themselves. We're going to look at why elegant solutions don't resolve Wicked problems, and why clumsy solutions to Wicked problems might work.
Let me start by just getting you to look through this list of changes that have occurred to the British National Health Service between 1982 and 2006. You don't need to know any of the details or what's going on here, but just be amazed by the number of reconstructions that occur. What you're basically looking at is an annual reconstruction, and I want you to think about and, perhaps, worry about why it is that we seem to be unable to operate unless we change everything every year.
Just in case you think this is something which only affects the health service. This is a list of the Ministers of Defence for the UK between similar kinds of years, 1964-2009, and again, what you see is a significant turnover of people at the top of these organisations. In this particular case, it's one every 28 months.
Here what you see are the Chiefs of the Defence Staff, these are the people who were in charge of the Army, Navy and Air Force combined and again, very similar kind of pattern. Here you have somebody changing over every 24 months, every two years.