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Conference Paper/Proceeding/Abstract 941 views 66 downloads

The Well-known Solution: neat, plausible and wrong / Steve Williams

WHELF/HEWIT Colloquium 2014

Swansea University Author: Steve Williams

Abstract

“Rethinking the Future: satisfying staff and students in times of diminishing resources and rising expectations” challenges us to ask and reflect on those unthinkable ‘what if...’ questions that frequently lead us into speculation, conjecture and disagreement. These ‘problem situations’ seem to be h...

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Published in: WHELF/HEWIT Colloquium 2014
Published: 2014
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa19819
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first_indexed 2014-12-29T02:59:27Z
last_indexed 2018-02-09T04:55:46Z
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spelling 2015-10-14T20:39:42.7820746 v2 19819 2014-12-28 The Well-known Solution: neat, plausible and wrong 0362bd055166a1dede0fa9fa78031d1e 0000-0001-7276-6222 Steve Williams Steve Williams true false 2014-12-28 IAD “Rethinking the Future: satisfying staff and students in times of diminishing resources and rising expectations” challenges us to ask and reflect on those unthinkable ‘what if...’ questions that frequently lead us into speculation, conjecture and disagreement. These ‘problem situations’ seem to be harder to deal with than everyday issues, and solutions are often elusive. Why is this? What can we learn from these problems, these situations, and how do we avoid falling into the trap that 100 years ago, H. L. Mencken identified: “Explanations exist; they have existed for all time; there is always a well-known solution to every human problem—neat, plausible, and wrong.” Rittel, Ackoff and Schön have classified these hard to solve problem as wicked, messes and swamps, and in various ways suggest that our approach to them needs to reflect the complex, dynamic and interconnected nature of the problem situation. Schön also claims that it is in these swampy lowlands that the truly interesting and valuable problems exist, and this is where we need to apply our effort in order to make a real difference. Against a backdrop of library strategic planning and a ‘Digital Adventure’, we will explore the messy, swampy world of wicked problems, their recognition, and ways in which we might improve our chances of solving, resolving or dissolving them. Conference Paper/Proceeding/Abstract WHELF/HEWIT Colloquium 2014 wicked problems, library strategy, systems thinking 11 6 2014 2014-06-11 COLLEGE NANME Administration (Academic Services) COLLEGE CODE IAD Swansea University 2015-10-14T20:39:42.7820746 2014-12-28T14:53:10.6533129 ISS Library Steve Williams 0000-0001-7276-6222 1 0019819-14102015203918.pdf The-Well-known-Solution-v1.pdf 2015-10-14T20:39:18.8070000 Output 1010106 application/pdf Author's Original true 2015-10-14T00:00:00.0000000 false
title The Well-known Solution: neat, plausible and wrong
spellingShingle The Well-known Solution: neat, plausible and wrong
Steve, Williams
title_short The Well-known Solution: neat, plausible and wrong
title_full The Well-known Solution: neat, plausible and wrong
title_fullStr The Well-known Solution: neat, plausible and wrong
title_full_unstemmed The Well-known Solution: neat, plausible and wrong
title_sort The Well-known Solution: neat, plausible and wrong
author_id_str_mv 0362bd055166a1dede0fa9fa78031d1e
author_id_fullname_str_mv 0362bd055166a1dede0fa9fa78031d1e_***_Steve, Williams
author Steve, Williams
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description “Rethinking the Future: satisfying staff and students in times of diminishing resources and rising expectations” challenges us to ask and reflect on those unthinkable ‘what if...’ questions that frequently lead us into speculation, conjecture and disagreement. These ‘problem situations’ seem to be harder to deal with than everyday issues, and solutions are often elusive. Why is this? What can we learn from these problems, these situations, and how do we avoid falling into the trap that 100 years ago, H. L. Mencken identified: “Explanations exist; they have existed for all time; there is always a well-known solution to every human problem—neat, plausible, and wrong.” Rittel, Ackoff and Schön have classified these hard to solve problem as wicked, messes and swamps, and in various ways suggest that our approach to them needs to reflect the complex, dynamic and interconnected nature of the problem situation. Schön also claims that it is in these swampy lowlands that the truly interesting and valuable problems exist, and this is where we need to apply our effort in order to make a real difference. Against a backdrop of library strategic planning and a ‘Digital Adventure’, we will explore the messy, swampy world of wicked problems, their recognition, and ways in which we might improve our chances of solving, resolving or dissolving them.
published_date 2014-06-11T03:33:33Z
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