The COVID-19 pandemic can best be described as a ‘wicked problem’. This devastating challenge has left many organisations in a state of turmoil as they seek to find ways to rapidly reorganize and stay functional.
A wicked problem is defined as ‘wicked’ in the sense that it is ill-defined or tricky – rather being wicked in the sense of malicious. These problems are ill-defined as both the problem and the solution are unknown at the outset of the problem-solving exercise. This is as opposed to ‘tame’ or ‘well-defined’ problems where the problem is clear and the solution can be devised through technical knowledge.
COVID-19 is especially challenging as we have no clear model for how to deal with it. It is both complex and chaotic, unpredictable and unprecedented. Yet somehow organisations will have to learn to how to manage the associated challenges in order to survive.
Only a proper understanding of the power of strategic creative and critical thinking processes in this specific context will enable us to fully address such a wicked problem.
Why is creative thinking for reinventing the office now more important than ever?
Many organisations are simply reacting to the crisis by sending people to work from home as if they will be able to function in exactly the same way as they did at work. Yet for many this approach is just is not effective over the long term.
The CEO of WordPress Matt Mullenweg has run a ‘distributed teams’ model for years. He refers to the approach most organization are resorting to as ‘Recreating the Office Online’, which he identifies is only level 2 of 5 levels of virtual team development. This ‘Recreating the Office Online’ approach is where employees have access to videoconferencing software (eg. Zoom), instant messaging software (eg. Slack) and email, but instead of redesigning the work to take advantage of the new medium, teams ultimately end up simply recreating their office experiences as online versions.
This can mean that many of the bad habits that permeate the modern office just get repeated and amplified. It can also suppress the ability of teams to actively engage in the thought processes.
Think of how many ten-person video calls are often now suggested when two people would have sufficed. How we can end up having up to 60+ interruptions a day — now also via Slack and phone calls and through the more sporadic checking of and responding to email constantly throughout the day. All this now demands an increasing hyper-responsiveness of all employees, “leaving them wired to desktop dings like Pavlov’s dog.” (Steve Glaveski).
Beyond tools to targeted strategies
Tools are only as good as how you use them. In fact, the misuse or abuse of tools can actually make a team less productive. CVTs will therefore need to learn to adapt to this new medium more deliberately and strategically if they want to be effective, which will require:
- Targeted creative and critical thinking strategies to start to address the difficult challenges and redesign working processes (with problems now exacerbated by the enforced need to work remotely due to COVID)
- Targeted communication strategies based on a clear understanding of the unique dynamics of remote virtual teams.
Taking such a clear strategic approach will help with adapting to the rapidly moving goalposts and somehow staying on track for success.
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- Who Killed Your Creativity? Self lead Audio learning playlist streaming package with leaders guide – Who Killed Creativity – Wisdom Destinations
- Solving wicked problems interactive Zoom based workshop with the ability for a deep dive lab business facilitation strategic solving of real challenges – CSI2 workshop
- The Reality of Virtual Teams: interactive Zoom based workshop with experiential learning gamification – Communicate
WHO: For leaders & remote / virtual teams | TIME: 2 X 2 hours | SIZE: rec group size 4-20 | FEE: several versions are available please contact Tirian or our partners. | METHOD: interactive Zoom session with gamification.
Read on Tirian’s Digital Solutions for Corporate Training Workshops >
Interactive Zoom-based webinars & workshops, coaching, facilitating remote workshops, Biz facilitation, with gamification / experiential learning
Creative & Critical Thinking for dealing with wicked problems.
Why now? Leaders will need to learn to tackle wicked undefined challenges, where both the problem and solution are unknown and are morphing daily. To overcome this requires the use of a tested design-thinking style process.
Future-Ready Leadership for greater agility and sustainable innovation and growth
Why now? Leaders will need to effectively deal with the competing demands a crisis bring. This involves managing the tension between those who recognise the need to explore new options and innovate, and those who want to preserve the current status quo. This added tension can either rip a team or company apart – or if led well– can fuel sustainable innovative growth.
The Reality of Virtual teams: Dealing with virtual and remote team challenges (with gamification)
Why now? Leaders and teams need to understand the unique dynamics of virtual teams. They will need to be able to adapt to effective remote communication, and not just think they can simply recreate the physical office online. A well led virtual team can outperform most office-based teams, but only where the communication is maximised.
The Collaboration Deception: Workshop with a gamification social experiment.
Why now? Collaboration under crisis and competition can be a significant challenge. We are learning from world leaders what happens when true collaboration is utilised to solve difficult problems – and the consequences from when it is not. So how does a leader promote collaboration in a complex competitive environment?
The Creative Appliance Project: Reinventing the future to build confidence and capability. (Revisiting the Mission Vision Values Brand)
Why now? Companies need to reinvent themselves as the world constantly changes. In doing so they will need to be clearer than ever about the core values that should never change, and what will need to change to adapt around that. This can allow an organisation to remain true to their core purpose while redefining their unique offering.
Your knowledge, professionalism, and willingness to work with us were key to the success of these digital virtual seminars. I learned a lot from you, and really enjoyed working with you.
Global Strategic Initiatives