Base of silo (Astrid Westvang/

Learning is in the network

Reda Sadki Learning strategy

“I knew them very well. That’s why it worked. Because we do work together.” We take responsibility for our own learning, yet keenly aware of the value for learning of engaging with others. It is when we find ourselves alone or isolated that we may best perceive the value of connecting with others for learning. One of the justifications for working in a silo is a very high level of specialization that requires being fully-focused on one’s own area of work – to the exclusion of others. We form networks of informal learning and collaboration in our team, with other departments in the headquarters, with the field, and with people and organizations outside the organization. Asking people is often faster than sifting through information. Technology facilitates building and sustaining small networks of trusted colleagues, large formal working groups, and more anonymous forms (mailing lists, discussion forums, etc.) that keep us …

Casse-tête (Frédérique Voisin-Demery/

How do we solve problems in work?

Reda Sadki Learning strategy

What do we do when we are confronted with a problem?  Problem solving begins when we encounter a new experience. We do this out of necessity, but also because we enjoy it. We also need to be able to solve problems fast. We develop our ability and willingness (including on a political level) to identify, analyze, and solve problems. We accept that tackling problems is painful. It involves risk-taking that may not be supported by the organization. Yet so much of how we learn and grow stems from such experiences. We know that our organization does not necessarily recognize – much less reward – uncovering problems. We need our line management and leadership to support this willingness to tackle problems. Even with supportive management and great colleagues, in many cases we are alone in confronting a problem, if only due to resource and time constraints. Yet we know that our ability to solve problems depends on …

Wicked signs (Aukje Dekker/Flickr)

What is a wicked problem?

Reda Sadki Innovation, Quotes

In 1973, Horst W.J. Rittel and Melvin M. Webber, two Berkeley professors, published an article in Policy Sciences introducing the notion of “wicked” social problems. The article, “Dilemmas in a General Theory of Planning,” named 10 properties that distinguished wicked problems from hard but ordinary problems. There is no definitive formulation of a wicked problem. It’s not possible to write a well-defined statement of the problem, as can be done with an ordinary problem. Wicked problems have no stopping rule. You can tell when you’ve reached a solution with an ordinary problem. With a wicked problem, the search for solutions never stops. Solutions to wicked problems are not true or false, but good or bad. Ordinary problems have solutions that can be objectively evaluated as right or wrong. Choosing a solution to a wicked problem is largely a matter of judgment. There is no immediate and no ultimate test of …