Docstoc

The Universal Problem Solving Process - Thwink

Document Sample
The Universal Problem Solving Process - Thwink Powered By Docstoc
					           A Story of Two Processes
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,
it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness….
                           The Question
Why, despite over 30 years of prodigious effort, has the human
system failed to solve the environmental sustainability problem?


Difficult social problems historically take a long time to solve:

     Women’s suffrage problem
     Slavery problem
     Divine right of kings problem
     Racial discrimination problem
     The dangers of smoking tobacco
     The recurring war in Europe problem
                        The Question
Why, despite over 30 years of prodigious effort, has the human
system failed to solve the environmental sustainability problem?




                                                     Kyoto
                                                    Protocol

                                      Brundtland
                                        Report


                                                   UN Earth
                                                   Summit

               Silent     Limits to
               Spring     Growth
                            The Question
Why, despite over 30 years of prodigious effort, has the human
system failed to solve the environmental sustainability problem?

   “The growth rate of emissions was 3.5% per year for the period of
   2000-2007, an almost four fold increase from 0.9% per year in 1990-
   1999. The actual emissions growth rate for 2000-2007 exceeded the
   highest forecast growth rates for the decade 2000-2010 in the
   emissions scenarios of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,
   Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (IPCC-SRES). This makes current
   trends in emissions higher than the worst case IPCC-SRES scenario.”
   (Source: www.globalcarbonproject.org/carbonbudget/07/index.htm .)



   “Modern environmentalism is no longer capable of dealing with the
   world's most serious ecological crisis.” (Source: Shellenberger, Michael and
   Nordhaus, Ted. 2004. The Death of Environmentalism.)
                    The Question
Why, despite over 30 years of prodigious effort, has the human
system failed to solve the environmental sustainability problem?

                 A Possible Answer
The field been using the wrong problem solving process.

Examples of the right process:
   Scientific Method
   Project management processes like CPM and PERT
   The Toyota Production System
   The Capability Maturity Model, for software development
   Countless training and problem solving processes
What process are problem solvers currently
using to solve the sustainability problem?


   As we use the term, an activist is anyone actively
   working to change the behavior of a social system.
        The Process of Classic Activism
                            problem symptoms
                    causes
                                    causes
Step 1. Identify
the problem to               proper practices are
be solved                     not being followed

                   causes           causes           causes

 A. The proper               B. People don’t know         C. People don’t want to
 practices are               about the proper             follow the proper practices,
 not yet known               practices or why they        even though they are fully
                             should practice them         aware of them and why they
                                                          should logically follow them
can be solved by                can be solved by                  can be solved by

                             Step 3. Tell people              Step 4. Exhort, inspire
Step 2. Find the             the truth about the              and bargain with people
proper practices             problem and the                  to get them to support
                             proper practices                 the proper practices
                                             Environmental Problems (1)             Solution
                                                                                    Success
                                        1. Climate change                                 Low
                                        2. Freshwater scarcity                            Low
Examples of                             3. Deforestation and desertification              Low
                                        4. Freshwater pollution                      Medium
Classic Activism                        5. Loss of biodiversity                           Low

Outcomes                                6. Air pollution (excluding climate chg)     Medium
                                        7. Soil deterioration                             Low
                                        8. Ecosystem functioning                          Low
(1) The 11 problems are from the
Scientific Committee on Problems of     9. Chemical pollution                        Medium
the Environment study (SCOPE),          10. Stratospheric ozone depletion          High
whose results were summarized in the
                                        11. Natural resource depletion                    Low
UNEP’s Global Environment Outlook
2000 on page 339. The problems are         Non-environmental Problems
sorted in order of decreasing
                                        Women’s suffrage                           High
importance. These are approximately
the top 11 components of the global     Slavery                                    High
environmental sustainability problem.   Urban decay                                  Medium
                                        Racial, gender, age, etc. discrimination     Medium
                                        The dangers of smoking tobacco               Medium
                                        The obesity epidemic                              Low
  Does Classic Activism
     have a flaw?
(Break to examine the tool of simulation
modeling to answer the question)




   Causal Loop Diagram
    of Classic Activism
Does Classic Activism
   have a flaw?


We hypothesize that Classic Activism contains these
two critical flaws:


1. It doesn’t consider systemic change resistance.

2. It’s intuitive instead of analytical, so it tends to
not find true root causes and the high leverage
points needed to resolve them.
     Can we develop a better process
         that lacks these flaws?

    The System Improvement Process (SIP)



What quality gate must a better process pass?
                The Six Principles
1. A complex system problem can be proactively, reliably, and fully
   solved only by resolving its root causes.

2. In problems where problem solvers are in the minority or lack
   governance of the system, root causes can be efficiently resolved
   only by pushing on their related high leverage points .

3. If analysis finds the correct root causes and high leverage points,
   solution implementation will be relatively easy.

4. The more difficult the problem, the more mature the process used
   to solve it must be.

5. Difficult problems are best decomposed into smaller subproblems,
   each designed to be an order of magnitude easier to solve.

6. Understanding complex social system behavior correctly and deeply
   requires modeling.



         Are these the right principles?
                        The four main steps of solving each subproblem

                                 The five substeps of system understanding                       SIP
                                         The three subproblems of the main problem



1. Problem                          The System Improvement Process (SIP)
Definition
                                 A. Change Resistance             B. Proper Coupling   C. Model Drift
2. System                       Find the immediate cause of the problem symptoms in terms of the
Understanding
                           A    system's dominant feedback loops.

  ANALYSIS                 B    Find the root cause of why they are dominant.
Spend about 80%
of your time here.         C    Find the low leverage points and symptomatic solutions.
The problem
solving battle is               Find the feedback loops that should be dominant to resolve the root
                           D    causes.
won or lost in this
step, so take the
time to get it right.      E    Find the high leverage points to make those loops go dominant.

3. Solution
Convergence

4. Implementation
                         Analysis Results of SIP
                           Summary of results of executing SIP on the
1. Problem
Definition
                          global environmental sustainability problem
                    A. Change Resistance          B. Proper Coupling               C. Model Drift
2. System           Root cause of successful Root cause of improper            Root cause of excessive
Understanding       change resistance is high coupling is mutually exclusive   model drift is quality of
                    deception effectiveness.  goals between corporate life     political decision making
 ANALYSIS                                     form and Homo sapiens.           is too low.

                    You Can’t Fool All of the Corporate Benevolence            The Race to the Top
This is where       People All the Time loop loop needs to go dominant.        among Politicians loop
we’ve spent about   needs to go dominant.                                      needs to go dominant.
90% of our time.
                    HLP is general ability     HLP is rules of the game for    HLP is quality of the
                    to detect manipulative     corporate life form.            process of political
                    deception.                                                 decision making.

3. Solution
                    Six solution elements      Corporation 2.0                 Politician decision ratings
Convergence
                    Not ready for              Not ready for                   Not ready for
4. Implementation implementation               implementation                  implementation
                 Actual Results of Classic Activism
           Done by        Actual progress on the global environmental
1. Problem The            sustainability problem using Classic Activism
Definition Limits to
           Growth       A. Change
                        Resistance          B. Proper Coupling         C. Model Drift
2. System                            Dominant loops causing symptoms
                    A                found by World3 model.
Understanding
  ANALYSIS          B

                  C

                  D

                    E
3. Solution
Convergence

4. Implementation
    How can we accelerate a change from Classic Activism
                 Old and New Paradigms
            Theprocess that’s capable of solving
           to a
                the sustainability problem?

       Classic Activism                          System Improvement Process
        An intuitive approach                                 An analytical approach
                               If that doesn’t
                                work, exhort,       Decompose the
          Tell the people the
Find the
                                 inspire and        problem into 3    Use 4 main Execute the system
           truth about the
 proper
                                bargain with         subproblems:      steps for understanding step
           problem and the      people to get                                    using the 5 substeps
practices proper practices                       A. Change Resistance    each
                              them to support     B. Proper Coupling subproblem     and simulation
                                  the proper         C. Model Drift                   modeling
                                   practices

           Pushing on low                                         Pushing on high
           leverage points                                        leverage points


  Success on                Failure on                 Success on              Success on
 easy problems         difficult problems             easy problems        difficult problems

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:0
posted:4/2/2013
language:English
pages:16