Identifying and Refining High Leverage Problems

Louis Gomez, Carnegie

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This webinar was recorded on December 16, 2016 at 11am PT / 2pm ET

Perhaps the most important part of a network’s work is deciding what its work will be –– that is, understanding and refining its problem focus. This task is exceedingly hard. Burgeoning networks often fail to appreciate how critical and difficult it is to truly seek to understand the targeted problem that should properly be at the core of a collective action effort. Too often, a network’s best work is stymied by “solutionitis,” our term for precipitous focus on solutions. Rather than digging into unpacking the problem, it is human nature to just get on with it and settle on a solution. We suspect that the work that could derail many INCLUDES teams will be the siren song of a premature focus on solutions. This webinar will help to mitigate the solutionitis tendency. In the webinar we will address techniques that (1) demonstrate how improvers can come to understand the problems that locals see and feel, (2) explore the systems that give rise to those problems, and (3) begin to see how to map, and identify, the significant work processes that constitute those systems. Taken together, these activities will help participants recognize and analyze high leverage problems.