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Complex issues like climate change, systemic racism and polarized opinion have no easy solution. It’s easy to feel powerless in trying to tackle what design theorists Rittel and Webber call a ‘wicked problem.’ We may not agree on what the problem is or whether it's a problem at all. Can relationship systems coaching and leadership make a difference?
The answer is yes. Addressing a wicked problem requires that we first decide what we do agree on - and then create space for voices, opinions and strategies to emerge. Untangling complex knots of relationship fits naturally with the relationship systems coaching skillset.
The essential work of addressing a wicked problem is most likely to succeed when it begins with a conversation. This approach does not involve a fixed plan but is fluid and responsive, shifting to adjust to what is needed in the moment. To help explain how relationship systems coaching can address wicked problems, we collected ideas from interviews with experienced Organization and Relationship Systems Coaching (ORSC™) practitioners.
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