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problem Archives - Eve Poole

Puzzles and Problems

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My colleagues in Ashridge Consulting are fond of contrasting ‘problems’ with ‘puzzles.’ Puzzles are tricky but solvable (like a crossword or Sudoku) whereas ‘problems’ are more intractable. This contrast resonates with Heifetz on adaptive challenges, which my colleague Chris Nichols explains as a distinction between the complicated (a puzzle) and the complex (a problem). For a leader, their role and approach should change depending on the nature of the situation they face, as should their strategic process. Read More