Practice

The Wicked Innovation Practice logo

Jenni Goricanec is Director of  

   Wicked
The^Innovation Practice.

We support our clients through the hardest part of innovation: the translation of ideas into actions that produce a tangible solution, while retaining the integrity of your original thoughts, producing winning solutions. 

From this role we address activities as diverse as: project & program management, strategic management, rational cost management, product R&D, information system design and organisation change.

Further, the benefits of our approach are maximised in high tech, “solution” design and development situations, where what is required is a technologically rich, total answer to a client’s business priorities, not the latest, off-the-shelf, black box. Our market focus is large, complex, “wicked” problems/issues in private, public and community sector organisations.

We have industry experience with a strong network of senior contacts across many of Australia’s premier organisations. We are connected into state-of-the-art research in this arena.

Why choose us?

  • We help you innovate – our interventions are designed so the solution grows like a flower. We integrate facilitation and action research to enable you to develop and establish a sustainable solution. Our results are innovative.
  • We help you innovate quickly – reducing time to market of innovations by facilitating the collaboration up-front.
  • We have experience in innovating – with 25 years first-hand experience with technical, social and organisational innovations.
  • We practice as knowledge brokers – connecting across a broad range of professional practitioners and researchers combining facilitation and action research to enable the development of sustainable solutions.

Contact Jenni Goricanec via Comments (note your comment will not be automatically published).

More…

We practice managing wicked problems. That is, we deal with complex, dynamic interactions (often conceived of as problems) that are made up of evolving, interlocking issues and constraints, where often many actants (human and non-human actors) are involved with different and changing perspectives, where the aim is to get the stakeholders to accept a solution. These problems or non-linear projects “meander” into the world along extended, dynamic and complex networks of people and technologies.

 Our view is that for many of these complex problems all we can do is move forward as they are often wickedly interconnected with incomplete and/or contradictory requirements. Further, the range of stakeholders will likely have very different views of the “problem” and will tend to change their minds with emerging circumstances. The “problem definition” may not be agreed until a solution is formulated and attempts to solve these types of problems typically cause further ramifications. The wickedness of some problems, better called predicaments has been recognised not only by planning practitioners (Rittel, 1972; Rittel & Webber, 1973) and designers (Conklin, 2001; 2003) but also by the Australian Public Service Commission (2007) which sees this conception as providing some insight for the contemporary challenge of public policy, especially as they note for the challenges posed by climate change, obesity, indigenous disadvantage and land degradation.

 In the work of Conklin & Weil (1998) they show that in reality designers seismically move between problem and solution in coming to solution. In doing this designers are undertaking both critical analysis and critical synthesis. Understanding whether there is a “problem” and if there is then what is its nature; understanding the broad situation better together with coming to “solutions” and choosing which one(s) are all integral parts of designing.

Our practice has developed from this undestanding together with the learning from various experiences as well as by undertaking PhDs in this area (indeed I have extracted parts of my thesis to put this reply together). This practice combines Open Systems Thinking with Actor-Network Theory (ANT), among other congruent methodologies. We have found that ANT is most useful in going beyond managing and leading an existing organisation or problem as the focus is on innovation to actively reform.

Examples of how we applied this thinking, and more, to the idea of sustainability, can be found in our paper for a recent conference of the Society for Sustainability and Environmental Engineering titled “Solutions that Integrate: re-invigorating the potential of silos“(this will open in new tab).

References: 

Australian Public Services Commission. Tackling Wicked Problems: A Public Policy Perspective. Contemporary Government Challenges 2007 http://www.apsc.gov.au/publications07/wickedproblems.pdf [Accessed 2011, 22 December].

Conklin, E.J., Wicked Problems and Social Complexity. 2001: Cognexus Institute, http://cognexus.org/wpf/wickedproblems.pdf [Accessed 9th October 2007].

Conklin, J. Dialog Mapping: An Approach for Wicked Problems. 2003: Cognexus Institute, http://cognexus.org/wpf/wickedproblems.pdf [Accessed 9th October 2007].

Conklin, E.J. and W. Weil. Wicked Problems: Naming the Pain in Organisations. 1998: 3M Reprinted with permission from Group Decision Support Systems, Inc. at http://www.3mco.fi/meetingnetwork/readingroom/gdss_wicked.html, [Accessed 22 July 2008].

Rittel, H., Second Generation Design Methods. Interview in Design Methods Group, 5th Anniversary Report, DMG Occasional Paper 1, 1972: p. 5-10.

Rittel, H. and M. Webber, Dilemmas in a General Theory of Planning. Policy Sciences, 1973. 4: p. 155-169.

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