The book stresses problem identification, which executives frequently ignore because of their preoccupation with problem solving. It looks at the need to avoid viewing solutions as remedies achieved at predetermined milestones. It examines options other than solutions, such as accommodation and coping, and it looks at the executive environment associated with outcomes along a spectrum ranging from perfection, to progress, to failure. The author argues that executives should abandon the attempt to predetermine objectives over time and adopt a Problem Exchange Ratio (PER) concept. The executive then compares the status of problems over time, creating a ratio. The PER approach considers the problems that solutions themselves trigger. It then allows executives to see where they stand and suggests ways of ameliorating unwanted conditions. The author provides illustrative cases and episodes from both the public and private sectors. Combining theory and practical aspects of executive decisionmaking, this book gives the reader a fuller understanding of the link between decisions and problems.
Webne-Behrman points out that a facilitator is actually a manager of a group within an organization--an important and diversified role. Not only do facilitators lead work teams in solving complex business problems, but in the public sector, they help resolve problems that may have rendered communities inoperative. They also manage interpersonal disputes to improve working relationships, and help build consensus on contentious social and political issues so as to help legislators create sound public policy. Webne-Behrman explains, The book will serve as a companion to the practitioner at times of greatest urgency. Included are outlines of the stages of effective meetings, strategies for managing conflict, ways to build consensus, and other specific advice on how to approach and solve problems.
A witty yet rigorous journey through the seedy underbelly of organisational problem solving, The Heretic’s Guide to Best Practices pinpoints the reasons why best practices don’t work as advertised and what can be done about it.
“Hugely enjoyable, deeply reflective, and intensely practical. This book is about weaving human artistry and improvisation, with appropriate methods and technologies, in order to pool collective intelligence and wisdom under pressure.”
—Simon Buckingham Shum, Knowledge Media Institute, The Open University, UK
“This is a terrific piece of work: important, insightful, and very entertaining. Culmsee and Awati have produced a refreshing take on the problems that plague organisations... If you’re trying to deal with wicked problems in your organisation, then drop everything and read this book.”
—Tim Van Gelder, Principal Consultant, Austhink Consulting