When Have Quick Fixes For Complex Issues Ever Worked?

When faced with an issue or challenge, the instinct is to problem-solve to find a quick solution. When the complexity of the problem is not fully understood, solutions created are often only designed to address a symptom of the underlying issues. Solving symptoms can lead to resolution but, far more often, the solution will fail (fixes that fail) or make the issue worse through unintended consequences. Then, more time, effort and resources need to be applied, usually to solving another symptom. This makes the pressure of time a moot point.

Systems Thinking Iceberg: Complex issues need to be addressed at the Worldview or Mental Models Level of Inquiry

What Supports Success?

Long term, sustainable, strategic and culture change efforts are successful when the systemic wide issues and patterns that created them are illuminated. Once illuminated, they can be attended to, trust and relationship can be built and challenges can be openly addressed in healthy and constructive ways.

Creating solutions to address mental models or worldviews takes investigation and inquiry. It also take illumination of the deeper issues, creating a systemic strategy and investing the time to get results. Additionally, when relationships have been damaged and trust is low, ways to build trust and relationship are essential to sustainable solutions.

While it is possible to create breakthrough moments or have quick successes, if these moments generate short term hopefulness that is not sustained, trust and relationship is further damaged. In looking for fast solutions, issues cam become more complex and more fully entrenched.


Understanding the deeper causes that create the issues of concern is essential to sustainable future success. This requires clarifying the inquiry of interest and the need or the work to be attended to. Then, illuminating the system of influence and the patterns that contribute to the issues in order to design interventions to resolve them. Well thought out processes and building capacity within the system contribute to sustainability. These interventions, during implementation, often require engagement of the people who contribute to and are impacted by the issues. This means finding shared understandings and a shared will to advance the issue.

Worldview Intelligence CIDA-W Planning Model

Traps include trying to impose solutions or “checking the box” of intervention, engagement or relationship building. Neither of which work in the long term and can short circuit future efforts when done for appearances.

The question is, do you as a leader have the wherewithal to withstand the illusion of the pressure of time? Does your organization? Do you have the ability to build trust and relationship? Do you have or can you create the capacity to see and understand the system? You will need the willingness to be in continual learning which likely means course correction along the way. The issues and challenges that need solving did not appear overnight and they will not be solved overnight either.

Worldview Intelligence offers a structure, frameworks and processes to clarify, illuminate and design effective, sustainable solutions to stuck issues using easy to understand yet profound approaches that you can then act on in conscious and intentional ways.