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Wicked Problems Explored

5 Traits of a Wicked Problem Solver

To find wicked solutions to wicked problems, you need wicked thinkers.  People who aren’t thinking inside of a box or outside of a box but actually questioning whether the box was necessary to begin with.  You’ve heard the old adage – give a man a fish, he eats for a day.  Teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime.  Wicked problem solvers are busy rethinking the entire fishing industry.

So what makes someone a wicked problem solver?

  1. We think different than most, in non-linear ways and have a knack for seeing patterns in chaos.  Problems today are so complex, wicked problem solvers visualize them in 3D, seeing multiple connections across infinite levels all interacting simultaneously with one another.
  2. We lean in and grin when challenged by a truly messy, complex and worthwhile problem. The more layers that exist, the more excited a wicked problem solver becomes. While the end-game solution is important, the journey is equally interesting.
  3. We’re optimistic and believe that with hard work, the future is going to be better than the past.  History tells us that overall, things are better today than they have ever been and will be better still tomorrow.  Progress is no easy task but hopeful optimism ensures that what comes will be better than what has past.
  4. We’re troublemakers, but for good reasons, and to make things better in organisations and the world.  Wicked problem solvers aren’t afraid to call a spade a spade.  Placating isn’t our strong suit.  If there’s something wrong we’ll tell you and by the time we do, the wheels are already turning to find an equally wicked solution.
  5. We care about what we do and the people we do it with, mixing heart and mind in equal measure.  There is a deep-seeded passion within a wicked problem solver that enables our often-obsessive pursuit of answers.  It’s what gets us out of bed in the morning and what keeps us burning the midnight oil day-in and day-out.

Most of these skills can be learned but the wickedness is always there.  It’s a feeling deep inside that says “make it harder.  I want a challenge,” and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Think you’re a wicked problem solver?  We’re building our database of smart, capable people for future deployments on an array of wicked problem solving engagements.  You can submit your details here.  If you’ve got a wicked problem of your own and could use some wicked problem solving help always feel free to contact us.

For more information, contact us at: [email protected]

Have a wicked problem that needs solving? Get in touch for a free assessment

Have a wicked problem that needs solving? Get in touch for a free assessment

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If you want a different approach; if you’ve never used consultants before; if the project’s failed a time or two already; or you need an urgent solution to a Wicked Problem, contact us.

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