Challenges Preventing Us From Effective Problem Solving
As we have discussed, today’s problems are very complex and intertwined than they were earlier. You start solving a problem then you figure out that you are solving the wrong one or after solving the problem, you find out that another part of the system has failed.
Take Airbnb as an example, they are solving the problem of traveling and helps people to rent their homes. They are dealing with a lot of parts (People traveling, people renting their places, employees, physical places, government laws and more) and the deal with a lot of connections between these part (Communication between the traveler and renter, complains received by support, and more). It’s a huge system with many parts and connections.
“The system always kicks back.”
Moreover, solving more problems and disrupting markets leads to more problems. Like Uber for example when it disrupts the transportation industry during 2011 in NYC, more problems aroused during their journey.
Thinking about How they could make their clients feel more secure? How to guarantee the quality of the rating system? How to manage the drivers complains? How to prevent the theft in their cars?
All of these problems and challenges have aroused when previous challenges are solved. As John Gall illustrated in this example:
“ After setting up a garbage-collection system, we find ourselves faced with a new universe of problems. These include questions of collective bargaining with the garbage collectors’ union, rates and hours, collection on very cold or rainy days, purchase and maintenance of garbage trucks, millage and bond issues, voter apathy, regulations regarding the separation of garbage from trash…if the collectors bargain for more restrictive definitions of garbage, refusing to pick up twigs, trash, old lamps, and even leaving behind properly wrapped garbage if it is not placed within a regulation can, so that taxpayers resort to clandestine dumping along the highway, this exemplifies the Principle of Le Chatelier: the system tends to oppose its own proper function.”
Solving problems and improving systems will always lead to new problems and complexities.