‘Tackling Wicked Problems’ is a program designed to help managers & subject experts to identify and confront the complex and ambiguous problems facing their organisations.

Do you have a Wicked Problem?

Problems have been identified as ‘wicked’ rather than ‘tame’ because they are difficult to define and near impossible to solve. Wickedness isn’t just a degree of difficulty, wicked issues are different because traditional processes can’t resolve them. A wicked problem has innumerable causes, is tough to describe,and doesn’t have a right answer. They’re the opposite of hard but ordinary problems, which people can solve in a finite time period by applying standard techniques. Not only do conventional processes fail to tackle wicked problems, but they may exacerbate situations by generating undesirable consequences.

Learning Objectives

At the end of the program, participants can expect

  • to step back and gain a better perspective of their ‘wicked’ problem
  • to identify underlying assumptions and worldviews
  • to enable stakeholders to articulate their position
  • to build a shared understanding of the problem
  • to lead an exploration of multiple options and choose priorities

Content

Session 1: Tackling Wicked Problems

Craig Ashhurst, our consultant and University Fellow, has identified three linked areas of potential wickedness, with two dimensions in each area.

Session 2: People Dimension

Different social groups can have very different perspectives on a problem. This program explores the competing or incompatible in values and ideology. Stakeholders all have differences that impact on how they define the problem, the outcomes they want, what interventions are possible and what consequences will be acceptable. As people also differ in knowledge of the problem, there will be conflicting ideas on the different elements and potential solutions.

Session 3: System Dimension

Problems vary in the complexity and ambiguity of the systems which people use. Multiple meanings and evaluations often exist for the same system. This program explored the critical elements impacting your organisation

Session 4: Context Dimension

The context is the environment within which the problem and any solutions exist. Each wicked problem is unique and affected by different constraints and the level of instability in the situation.

Target Audience

Middle and Executive Managers (plus key subject expert specialists)

Duration

One day (plus follow-up coaching sessions)

Maximum Participants

Up to 20 – To receive a complimentary copy of our Wicked Problems concept paper, please email us at office@berrico.com.au