Blog Post

There are no solutions to anything. We don't solve problems we respond to them.

Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 23 July 2012



There are no solutions to anything. We don't solve problems we respond to them.
WeblogGurteen Knowledge Log
Knowledge LetterAppears in the Gurteen Knowledge Letter issue: 145
Posted DateMonday 23 July 2012 18:31 GDT
Posted ByDavid Gurteen
Linkshttp://www.peakprosperity.com/blog/79264/james-howard-kunstl ... 
http://www.gurteen.com/gurteen/gurteen.nsf/id/unintended-con ... 
CategoriesOrganizational Complexity

When I run my knowledge management workshops, one of the points I make strongly is that there are no solutions to complex problems. There are always unforeseen and/or unintended consequences. Side-effects in other words.

I blogged about the Law of Unintended Consequences a year or so ago.

I suggest to people that they never talk about solutions to problems, that they avoid the word "solution", so loved by IT vendors, and replace it with the word "response".

We don't solve problems we respond to them! We are walking on a trampoline.

Unintended consequences get to the heart of why you never really understand an adaptive problem until you have solved it.

Problems morph and "solutions" often point to deeper problems.

In social life, as in nature, we are walking on a trampoline.

Every inroad reconfigures the environment we tread on.

Given this view, I warmed to this podcast interview with James Howard Kunstler: Its Too Late for Solutions: Consequences are coming & we better start facing them soon.

As he points out, we are always looking for solutions to things - we want a quick fix so that we can carry on the way we are working now without realising that it is impossible. We are discovering more and more is that the world is comprehensively broke in every sphere, and in every dimension and in every way.

There are no quick-fix solutions in this world, only responses.

If you are interested in Knowledge Management, the Knowledge Café or the role of conversation in organizational life then you my be interested in this online book I am writing on Conversational Leadership
David Gurteen

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