- Leandro Herrero - https://leandroherrero.com -

Organizational Pathologies. An update (1 of 10): Solutionism

Solutionism  is a common condition in which the energy and airtime of the organization is consumed in finding solutions to problems. Since there are always problems, solutionism is a self-reinforcing syndrome that can only grow. In fact, once solutionism has been established, it needs to be fed by problems. So the organization creates more and more problems to become more and more proficient in solving them. The patient usually denies this, which is in itself a diagnostic feature.

High levels of adrenaline have been found in this condition, also co-morbid with Busy-ness ( see later in the series).

The best problem is, however, the one that has no solution (similarly to the fact that the best question is the one that has no answer). Extreme solutionism needs some wicked problems [1] to survive, and once some wicked problems are on the table, solutionism will persist for ever trying to find its Solution Holy Grail, which in fact simply does not exist.

Very often, pervasive solutionism will stop distinguishing between real problems (big or small) and imaginary ones. In fact, it will deal more and more with many problems that do not exist. Which increases the pool of things called problems. Here we go.

The prognosis is usually bad unless solutionism is seriously distracted by something big, or of a higher purpose, where the focus is on building ( a company, a future, an idea, a new culture…) and surrounded by people who have not the word ‘problem’ in their vocabulary.

The condition is thought to be particularly severe in people with MBAs

Like me.

I am on a watch.