Archive for July, 2010

“Labeling a bundle of problems”

July 6, 2010

One of my favorite quotes from The Logic of Failure by Dietrich Dorner,

By labeling a bundle of problems with a single conceptual label, we make dealing with that problem easier — provided we’re not interested in solving it. Phrases like “urgently needed measures for combating unemployment” roll easily off the tongue if we don’t have to do anything about unemployment. A simple label can’t make the complex nature of a problem go away, but it can so obscure complexity that we lose sight of it. And that, of course, is a great relief.

By translating an unclear goal into a clear one, we often discover a multifaceted problem, one that consists of many partial problems.