Wednesday, August 5, 2009

On The Train (Adaptive Challenges), Aug. 4, 2009

I learned about Adaptive Challenges today when I read Nancy Dixon’s blog and it cleared my thoughts on the things that I was thinking in trying to find leads to possible solution. As always the reading introduced me to further reading materials that I would want to buy later at MPH.

Dixon wrote:

‘Characteristics of adaptive challenges are 1) their unpredictability, 2) the lack of agreement on exactly what the problem is, and 3) differing views about what constitutes an acceptable solution. Examples of adaptive challenges are, organizations that have merged and now must create a new and joint culture; hospital systems faced with an interminable nursing shortage; the anticipated retirement of thousands of workers in the government sector; and companies that, in order to survive, must change from selling products to service.’

She further wrote:

‘With adaptive challenges existing assumptions, methods, and tools are useless. They may even get in the way. Dealing with the complexity of adaptive challenges requires altered assumptions, different methods, and yet to be invented tools. And beyond that, adaptive challenges often necessitate that employees learn and practice new behaviors.’

This is exactly what we are facing now and as I said cleared some of my thoughts on the issue. The best part is that it explained why we are doing what we are doing now. It is as if this writing was just written for me or us.

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