Contract - July 2009 - (Page 70)

critique Photos courtesy of the Seaside Institute. the power of collaborative design Solving today’s complex problems takes a lot more than a single perspective The image of the “great man”—whether he be Picasso, Frank Lloyd Wright, or Jack Welch—the solitary genius working alone in his atelier, at his drafting board, or even in his corporate office, is a persistent myth that we seem loathe to give up. Yet having studied strategic planning processes in organizations for more than 20 years, I believe that it is an increasingly dangerous illusion with serious costs to our ability to deal effectively with the thorniest problems of our time—either as designers or as business people. My reasons are straight-forward: our problems are becoming more complex, more wicked, and more mysterious. Individual geniuses working alone won’t get us there; new ways of thinking and behaving are essential. Tapping into the power of collaborative design is key. Complexity has been with us for a long time and the arrival of the digital world has played on both sides of that fence. It has increased this complexity (think of the sheer volume of new data available to us), but it also provided us with tools to better manage all that additional information. In fact, we can now solve certain types of complex problems—those that lend themselves to analytical techniques—with far more ease than ever before. But when the challenge, or the solution, or the criteria for choice, or even the definition of the problem itself no longer lends itself to being broken down into its parts, traditional analytical methods break down. Many of the problems we face today are not merely complex; they are wicked as well. UC Berkeley School of Architecture Professor Hoerst Rittel first called attention to what he described as the “wicked nature” of certain problems. Such By Jeanne Liedtka Photography courtesy of the Seaside Institute Cooperation is always positive; collaboration is positive except in wartime (working with the enemy), and collusion is always negative (working together in secret for a dishonest purpose). 70 contract july 2009

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Contract - July 2009

Contract - July 2009
Guest Editorial
Resources: Alpha Workshops
Green Building Goes Global
The Collaborative Workplace
All For Fun
Group Practice
Caring Collaborator
Life is a Circus
Cohesive Spaces in Public Places
On the Landscape
Castles in the Sand
Face to Face
Heart and Soul
Project Management
Dream Team
Ad Index

Contract - July 2009