I found this set of thoughts on Wicked Problems (jargon for social problems that are right tricky to solve) and Open innovation via Andrea Siodmok’s post on twitter.
I’m not convinced by everything here but on the third slide there was one simple idea which experience tells me is very true…
“You only understand the problem once you try solving it.”
I’ve often found that I set off with the serious intent to solve a problem, but in truth succeed in understanding what we could do better next time. I know that’s a statement of the bleedin’ obvious but it sometimes helps to do that.
This is why iterative change is important. This is why rolling up your sleeves and doing something, then pausing, reflecting and doing some more is so important. It’s why community lead solutions can often be very effective and planned top down ones often fail.
So thanks Andrea and Sameer Vasta for helping me clarify that in my head.