One factor problems are always simple. My friend Max Ma has simple answers to one factor problems. A) Just fix it. The other side of the question B) occasionally appeared with the observation, “That’s not a problem, that’s impossible.”
In either case, there was an answer. Change the world or learn to adapt to the world.
It’s possible to describe such a problem in simple terms, but when you try to solve it you find it is like a bag of individual problems within. Some of the pieces can be addressed, but that may not mean the whole problem is solved. Many complex problems have conflicting elements. You cannot solve both at the same time.
Other problems have different constituencies with their own version of what is the most important part of the entire package. Frequently each group has their own facts and choose not to learn about other possibilities.
If you listen to one group it is an urgent,. existential problem. Solve it immediately or humanity and most other life is doomed.
If you listen to another group, it is a problem but over the future we will deal with it so we are not severely harmed. The IPCC estimated that by 2100, global GDP will be 10% less than it would otherwise be. Bjorn Lomborg suggests that the methods to solve the problem don’t even exist yet and humanity tends to be very good at solving slow moving problems.
Each side has talking points and is unwilling to accept the other sides arguments.
How would you carry on from there if you had to pick the method?
The first big part of any solution is knowing what exactly you are trying to do. I vividly recall Lyman MacInnis suggesting to a proponent of an expensive program, “What we have here is the solution to no known problem.”
Be sure you know there is a problem. There is nothing more wasteful than solving imaginary problems. Similarly there is a huge cost to not address something that matters.
As you answer questions about the situation, you may find there is a process that works and which both sides can accept. You will find most ideological problems are poorly defined. Logic is not a powerful motivator. Emotion is though. Most emotional positions are weakly supported.
Why is that? Because if they had data and reasoning, they wouldn’t need the emotion. People would choose to act on the situation. Rhetoric usually means absent reasoning.
Every challenging problem and every opportunity works out better if you create process that acts towards a solution. You can change processes more easily than redefine your goal. Processes adapt to changing techniques and inventions. No problem solves the way people thought it would before they set out to solve it. First looks are highly unlikely to be the final solution.
It’s not all about problems. The answers to solving problems and seizing opportunities are identical in form. How do you use existing resources and those that may appear in the future to create a desirable answer? How rigidi is the answer you expect.
You get better answers when you know the problem better
Data, knowledge, experience and sound reasoning methods will keep you from following emotionally pleasing, but failing paths.
No complex problem has a simple answer.
Most social problems cannot be solved with money alone.
Every life problem is closer to solution if you use good information and sound thinking
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I build strategic, fact-based estate and income plans. The plans identify alternate ways to achieve spending and estate distribution goals. In the past, I have been a planner with a large insurance, employee benefits, and investment agency, a partner in a large international public accounting firm, CEO of a software start-up, a partner in an energy management system importer, and briefly in the restaurant business. I have appeared on more than 100 television shows on financial planning have presented to organizations as varied as the Canadian Bar Association, The Ontario Institute of Chartered Accountants, The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food, and Banks – from CIBC to the Business Development Bank.
Be in touch at 705-927-4770 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org