The Search for the Single Right Answer

January 5, 2011 by · View Comments 

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We currently live in a world which can be defined by two things its complexity and the need for wide scale change. The world is complex – the accelerating pace of change, globalisation, new technology and the blurring of traditional boundaries all contribute.

The need for change is also apparent.  Even before we faced this economic crisis issues such as climate change and over-population were pressing governments (and us as individuals) to try make radical changes to how we think and act.

These issues however major and however theoretically important often seem a long way from the tough challenges of day-to-day life.  The hardest of these are those that involve other people and as soon as people are involved problems become really difficult to solve.

In my experience regardless of the scale of the issue faced, there is also a common blockage – the search for single right answer.

The hunt for the mythical one right answer seems to dominate so many conversations and more worryingly get in the way of things being done.  Complex problems will never have a single right answer so we need to stop wasting time and resources trying to find it.

Instead we need to find solutions that will help the situation and that we ourselves can implement.  Then we need to just give it a try – it might not work but it will always be work effective than searching for the single right answer that does exist.

Where is the hunt for the Single Right Answer getting in the way of you actually doing something?

About Rob Priestley

Rob Priestley has written 13 articles on this blog.

Senior Consultant

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