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Beyond Grey Pinstripes
Problem Finding, Problem Solving (2011)
In your present work, and in the work you will do upon completing your MBA, you will increasingly face what have been called “wicked problems.” From managing climate change to alleviating global poverty to simply determining how and when Apple should compete with Google, these problems – characterized by considerable volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity – defy simple explanation and resolution. Dealing with them requires innovative leadership and a new ways of thinking about business issues. This class focuses on having you learn about and practice some of the processes and tools – drawn from the fields of critical thinking, design thinking, systems thinking and creative problem solving – that will help you grapple with the “wicked problems” presented to you at Haas and beyond. Specifically, we’ll talk about ways of collecting information to characterize a problem, framing and re-framing that problem, coming up with a range of solutions and then gathering feedback to assess those solutions. We’ll apply those processes and tools to designing and redesigning business models in some real settings.