What happens when people at the ‘grassroots’ level of a system tries to solve a system problem, or deal with the symptoms and consequences of a systemic issue? How often have we asked this question and consider how pervasive such a problem archetype is in our modern society?
Corporate change and transformation department should be framing questions this way to uncover projects they can work on. Far too often, there are departments operating at ‘corporate’ or ‘strategic’ level of the company just trying to find easy-wins lurking around the organisation to create some kind of change project. The small projects that affect one or two stakeholders can be better dealt with by themselves. Collecting problem statements on the ground may not be the best because ‘the ground’ tend to contextualise problems within their own scope of work or scope of influence. When they do point out something that is more systemic, it is overwhelming or that they point to merely a symptom of underlying problems.
The corporate strategy department needs to hunt down problem statements by considering first what is the objectives that the company is trying to achieve overall, and what are some of the internal elements of the company that is hindering it from achieving its objectives. That would be more useful corporate change. Solving problems that prevent what existing department perceives as hindrance from them doing ‘their work’ may not always be optimal because ‘their work’ can be a function of the existing silos of an organisation and not exactly meeting the overall objectives of it.