A Dilemma: The Problem with Problem-Solvers
Posted in Ambiguity, Business, Creativity, Education, Illusion, Metaphor, New Cards, Opposite May Also be True, Paradox, Quiz, The Way We See the Problem, Wisdom
Please solve this problem: Tell me if the following statement is true or false:
"This statement is false."
If the statement is false, then it is true. If the statement is true, then it is false.
The above example is a well-known paradox but I believe one of the things society, parents, teachers, bosses and our educational establishment must unlearn is the idea that we need to create "problem-solvers."
What if some of today's most pressing issues can't be solved? What if the best society can do is select between a series of less-than-desirable options?
I am a big fan of being able to embrace ambiguity and, therefore, I'd like to suggest that if society is hell-bent on creating more "problem solvers" that it should also spend some time creating "dilemma managers" — people who can embrace ambiguity; appreciate complexity; see beyond the traditional choices of black or white; and who can envision multiple paths to a better future.
Why? Because the world is complex; it isn't black or white; there are multiple paths forward; and solutions aren't always clear-cut.