Problems and solutions

Johnnie Moore

Johnnie Moore

I’m Johnnie Moore, and I help people work better together

Dwight Towers has a short, entertaining and provocative video: the problem solution ratio.

He makes great points on how easy it is to wallow in indignation, the dangers of experts and how meetings lure in those who like to lecture us and play status games, rather than converse.

I’m a bit cautious about setting a problem-solution ratio. We can admire the principle but I doubt people can agree on what’s a problem and what’s a solution. For example, the man suggesting National Service as a response to riots think he’s in solution territory. Others will think he’s actually making the problem worse.

We’re familiar with the axiom if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. But it’s easily arguable that if we can’t acknowledge our own part in any dysfunctional system, there may be no progress. As someone tweeted a while ago, in this case, if you’re not part of the problem, you’re not part of the solution.

In fact, we might do better to loosen our hold on this binary idea of problems and solutions.

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