It seems that likes breed likes.
Volatility breeds volatility. Uncertainty breeds uncertainty. Complexity breeds complexity. Ambiguity breeds ambiguity. Their combination as VUCA breeds wicked problems. Problems that are very hard to solve are wicked problems.
You find many wicked problems on a global scale. Examples include poverty, child abuse, deteriorating environment, water shortage, and many more.
These problems have general features among them. They have no clear cause-and-effect relationship. The root problem is hard to define. The more you think that you reached a solution another problem spikes. You try hopefully a possible solution and you end up with a worse or worsened problem.
Wicked Problems Bring along Wicked Requirements
Wicked problems have their own requirement. They tend to create more chaos. They need more energy to keep the integrity of a system to withstand entropy. The system needs to get a continuous supply of energy from its environment so as not to disintegrate.
Energy supply comes from many sources such as the influx of creative ideas. Ideas are energy. The increased connectivity of the world makes also has a problem in forming rigidity gaps. This lowers our agility and adaptive capacity to respond with agility to emergent problems.
This problem Aldo Delli Paoli has dealt with superbly in a comment on my post on Creative Confusion. In his comment, Aldo highlighted the general climate of business and so well explained, the need to not only adapt, but also to experiment on a continuous basis. He went on to discuss the need of having influential leaders who must have certain capacities to meet the challenges of the new and emerging business climate.
Aldo highlighted two great capacities- adaptive capacity and dynamic capacity and defined both very well. I might think of other capacities such as influencing capacity and risk-taking capacity.
Ella-Marie Rivero wrote in a comment on my post Extrovert and introvert Organizations what adds weight and clarity to the preceding thoughts. She wrote, “Regarding diversity, integration, balance …
They can be implemented, but requires time,
Patience and know-how.
Balance is very important because the companies
need thinkers, researchers…people more agile in
the abstract world, the world of ideas, concepts, thoughts, but
at the same time, active people in the real world are needed, too.”
The above emerging requirement is in line with what Ned McDonnell expressed in the VUCA environment in which we are operating in a comment, part of which reads “In the age of ‘Moore’s Law’ (i.e., knowledge doubling every 18 months) and globalization, this organizational introversion often pulled companies away from their markets, leading to poor product decisions.”
A Call for Humanity to Get Together
I add my voice to the noble call of Dennis Pitocco. Humanity shall only succeed in dealing with wicked problems if humanity realizes no single nation or individual shall be able to do so alone.
We need a structure to help us exchange information with fluidity such as the pioneering fractal grid platform of Dr. Rod King.
We cannot sustain the wicked problems unless humanity realizes the need to keep the integrity of the Humanity Body.
Your thoughts are highly welcome.