When you are dealing with a “tame” strategy problem you can use the old approaches of strategy which can be traced back to the industrial age… If you are dealing with a so-called wicked strategy problem – and the chance that you do is high – you need a different approach.
Here are 10 telltale signs developed by Ritter and Webber you are dealing with a wicked problem:
- There is no definitive formulation of a wicked problem (as it depends upon one’s idea for solving it);
- Wicked problems have no stopping rule (as you do not know if you have found the best solution);
- Solutions to wicked problems are not true-or-false, but good-or-bad;
- There is no immediate and no ultimate test of a solution to a wicked problem;
- Every solution to a wicked problem is a “one-shot-operation” that cannot be undone;
- There is no exhaustive set of solutions to a wicked problem – there might be none!;
- Every wicked problem is essentially unique;
- Every wicked problem can be considered a symptom of another higher level problem;
- The existence of a wicked problem can be explained/rationalised in various ways;
- People dealing with of wicked problems can never win, but they can loose (they are liable for the results of choices which you can never be sure of they are right).
And? Are you are dealing with a wicked strategy problem?