2: Understanding Problems

  • Drifting Goals & What To Do When You’re Not Where You Want To Be

    Recently, I was watching the viral video that Will Smith posted regarding failure, and I began thinking about goals; specifically, drifting goals. In a culture that places a high value on achievement, there is a noticeable tension between setting big-hairy goals and setting goals that you can reasonably attain, given your current situation. On the one hand, goals are supposed…

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  • The Dramatic Pause : Sometimes, You Gotta Let It Simmer

    Effort is overrated. Have you ever noticed someone putting forth tremendous effort to improve a situation yet still failing to advance? It’s easy to believe that failure is a result of not enough effort, however, sometimes failure is a result of too much effort or a lack of understanding regarding how things “work.”

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  • Identify Areas of Highest Leverage (airport scenario)

    There is a system thinking principle that states that small changes can produce big results, however, these changes are often the least obvious. These small, impactful changes are commonly referred to as the areas of highest leverage. Always look for opportunities to make a small change that will produce a big result. Win-win. Identify the Problem – Airport Security Chaos…

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  • The Implications of Acting With Limited Thought

    Gene Bellinger, Director of Systems Thinking World, brilliantly illustrates the impact of not thinking a problem “all the way through”. In this example, Gene uses the simple problem of unsightly growth near his bird feeder to demonstrate the implications of acting with limited thought. This is also a fascinating view of how systems thinkers think through all problems. My initial thoughts…

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