By Gerry Murray. 10-10-2021
(Scroll down for a laugh)

“We fail more often because we solve the wrong problem than because we get the wrong solution to the right problem.”
~ Russell L. Ackoff

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The current episode of Leading People features Chris Soderquist talking about how to apply what he calls Systemic IQ in solving complex problems. Feedback from my regular listeners has already been extremely positive about this episode and for some, it was their first encounter with Systemic IQ. 

>>Listen here to learn more

But, have you ever wondered what are complex problems? 

We often use the words complex and complicated interchangeably. Even English dictionary definitions do this. 

  • However, are they really the same? 
  • How does using these terms interchangeably affect our ability to solve problems? 
  • Could we often be trying to solve the wrong problem? 

If you look at the root of each word they derive from different original meanings and, therefore, should probably not be used as synonyms. 

One interesting distinction comes from the work of Dave Snowden and his Cynefin Framework. When you hear and see him explain the distinction it will help you understand why and how people often approach solving problems in ineffective ways. 

Complicated problems need a totally different approach from complex problems. 

>>Watch here to learn more

I have run workshops with Managers using the Cynefin framework and it's often astounding the insights they get in the space of just 90 minutes of applying the framework to a real problem that they're grappling with! 

However, this framework is not just something that can be applied to the world of work. It's actually very relevant to all sorts of present-day phenomenon such as Climate Change, The Rise of Nationalism, Autocratic Rulers, Education, etc...

This interview with Dave Snowden provides fascinating insights into how these phenomena are created and grow in our world and what could be done to address them. 

>>Watch here to learn more

Be careful not to make your complex problems too complicated this week...


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My daughter keeps making rash decisions.
As a dermatologist, it's all in a day's work.

A defendant in a lawsuit involving large sums of money was talking to his lawyer. "If I lose this case, I'll be ruined!"  
"It's in the judge's hands now," said the lawyer.  
"Would it help if I sent the judge a box of cigars?"  
"No! The judge is a stickler on ethical behavior. A stunt like that would prejudice him against you. He might even hold you in contempt of court."  
Within the course of time, the judge rendered a decision in favor of the defendant. As the defendant left the courthouse, he said to his lawyer, "Thanks for the tip about the cigars. It really worked!"  
Confidently the lawyer responded, "I'm sure we would have lost the case if you'd sent them."  
"But I did send them,” replied the man.  
"What?" shouted the lawyer.  
"I sure did, that's how we won the case... good thing I remembered to enclose the plaintiff's business card."

My wife and I have reached the difficult decision that we do not want children
If anybody else does, please just send me your contact details and we can drop them off tomorrow.

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