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Continuously evolving: Innovating problem-solving strategies

Wicked Problems

Continuously evolving: Innovating problem-solving strategies

2015 marked a phenomenal year for Deloitte University's (DU) Wicked Problems program, with the creation of a repeatable methodology and coordination with key third-parties.

The reach and impact of DU’s Wicked Problems program is growing. With the development of a repeatable methodology enabling facilitators to deliver the same quality experience outside the walls of DU, it’s expected to grow even more. “We believe in the collective intelligence of our organization, and are focused on training our people to take the lead in addressing problems in different ways,” said Program Manager Jainik Shah. Part of that training is a new video that helps facilitate the 30-minute Wicked Problems experience through a concise, validated methodology.

To expand our influence in solving some of the world’s toughest challenges, DU is forging strategic partnerships with organizations that align with Deloitte's core values. In 2015 we teamed with the Clinton Foundation, and Wicked Problems program leads coordinated a campaign to improve wellness in the workplace. An emerging idea from that 3,000-participant session was the creation of a chief wellness officer position. The Clinton Foundation shared the idea at a CEO summit, where a CEO of a major organization expressed strong implementation interest.

“Having the recognition and support of socially influential organizations like the Clinton Foundation has inspired people to take the program very seriously and generate ideas that have real-world application,” said Alexandria Ervin, lead business program specialist.

Wicked Problems is our sense of higher purpose. We have engaged thousands of people with diverse perspectives—from high school students, college interns, to all levels of our organization including senior leadership. This wealth of cognitive diversity creates a high level of engagement and enthusiasm.

– Karen Neary, creative lead, Wicked Problems.

In 2016 the team plans to launch a problem-solving techniques library and a digital strategy to extend participant involvement.

Wicked Problems topics have included STEM, wellness, and mental health.

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