Getting Serious About Overcoming the Challenges that Our Nation Faces
The toughest problems we have today are adaptive and system-oriented, not simply technical problems. A technical problem is one that can be fixed with a single or momentary solution. Often, a single discovery or technological development can fix our technical problems. Losing Wi-Fi is a technical challenge. You can just restart the router and the hair-pulling chaos that ensued from being temporarily disconnected and inconvenienced is immediately relieved and quickly forgotten.
An adaptive challenge takes broader alignment of a wide range of stakeholders (usually with differing perspectives, objectives, biases, and goals) to solve. Adaptive challenges usually require a significant redesign of the systems that govern our lives – the educational system, the workforce development system, the housing delivery system, the transportation system, the criminal justice system and many more. Getting alignment across groups and redesigning systems that have long been dysfunctional takes time and deliberate thoughtful action. These kinds of adaptive challenges also take time because they usually require shifts in culture, practice, mindset, processes, and relationships between many people and institutions.
If you want to be effective in helping our nation, your community or organization overcome the problems of adaptation and system redesign, it takes intentional action. Let us help you understand the fundamentals and get clear on how to advance broader equitable system change!