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“Wicked” problems

A wicked problem is much more difficult than a complex or ill-defined problem. You don’t even know what the problem is. For a complex problem such as “My marketing isn’t having the effect on my bottom-line that I want” you at least have defined the scope of the problem. For “wicked” problems all you have is a vague sense that something is wrong:

  • “My business seems to be getting harder and harder.”
  • “I feel overwhelmed by everything.”
  • “Why are my friends being successful and I seem to struggle?”

Being aware of your troubled feelings, or a sense of things not being right is the first step toward finding what is wrong and whether a solution exists. In almost all cases, you need to have conversations with people you trust to sharpen up your understanding of what may be going on. Women are much better at seeking out people who can give them advice than men.

In my experience, however, entrepreneurs almost always do better when they have knowledgeable people who help them uncover and resolve their “wicked” problems. Networking groups, board members and business coaches are all good sources of such advice.

If you have tried these and still feel like you haven’t nailed your “wicked” problem, then you can benefit from a conversation with me. I’d love to talk with you.