Planning and doing, mapping and going
[ by Charles Cameron — still catching up with unfinished posts — here, wicked problems & John Henry Newman ]
I’ve just been re-reading Jeff Conklin‘s Wicked Problems and Social Complexity, which includes these two diagrams:
— so I was struck by this tweet:
#Persistence MT @TechMinock: Great image to share with staff and students to start the year! #edchat pic.twitter.com/s7OlB2nVtd
— edutopia (@edutopia) September 18, 2015
There’s a similar sense of a jagged path in the final verse of Bl John Henry Newman‘s great hymn, The Pillar of the Cloud, better known by its first line, Lead, Kindly Light:
So long Thy power hath blest me, sure it still
Will lead me on,
O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till
The night is gone;
And with the morn those angel faces smile
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile.
It is sung here at the Hyde Park vigil on the occasion of Pope Benedict XVI‘s visit to the United Kingdom, with a final verse added by an Anglican Bishop of Exeter, Edward Henry Bickersteth:
The first two items appeal to my intellect, whereas Newman’s hymn can bring me to tears.
October 4th, 2015 at 12:53 am
I’m often struck that people think cognitive processes are linear (top graph). Apparently, the thought process broght to the table by that graph maker did not include complex, parallel independent, or high speed problem solving. That is, he’s never heard of John Boyd or Taiichi Ohno.
October 4th, 2015 at 2:52 am
Conklin’s top diagram is intended to show a theory he rejects as a simple-minded version of s much more complex process, illustrated in the lower of his two diagrams, and as I recall he has at least one further diagram in which he shows the realities involved in multiple minds collaborating to solve a problem. He is far from advocating the “waterfall” of the top diagram above.
I can’t speak to Taiichi Ohno, but Boyd and Conklin seem to me to be tackling different aspects of decision-making.
Boyd is concerned with adversarial conflicts with a winner and a loser, no? and perhaps a very speedy outcome, as in a dog-fight. Conklin is dealing with social problems, which may be part adversarial and part collaborative, in which the problem is at least somewhat enduring and very possibly morphs as time passes, some deadlines pass, new elements, stake-holders or technologies become available, etc — and where the problem itself may be viewed and defined differently by different stakeholders, so that they may not be a single “solution” approved or conceded as such by all those involved.
His “motto” seems to be taken from Laurence J. Peter:
A quick lookup on “Jeff Conklin” and “John Boyd” found a few documents which deal with both: