The future for B2B tech companies is in solving wicked problems

An interview with Markus Kirsch, Author & Founder The Wicked Company

The future for B2B tech companies is in solving wicked problems An interview with Markus Kirsch, Author & Founder The Wicked Company

Product InnovationThis podcast interview focuses on the essence of the book ‘The Wicked Company’ and my guest is Markus Kirsch, FRSA, Author & Founder The Wicked Company.

Marcus is a .com veteran with nearly two decades of award-winning, international and integrated design and technology project experience.

A Royal College of Art alumni and ex-MIT Media Lab Europe researcher, Marcus Kirsch has worked as a transformation, service design, and innovation specialist.  With project experience for companies like British Telecom, GlaxoSmithKline, Kraft, McDonald’s, Nationwide, Nissan, Science Museum, P&G, Telekom Italia, and many others, he believes that we need a new narrative, mindset, and way of working to align ourselves with what society needs today. 

As he states: We live in an era of wicked problems. Problems that continue to evolve and morph beyond your solutions even as you form them. The ways that always worked to solve problems, doesn’t work anymore. 

The days of tame problems—mass production, building bridges, solving for x —are behind us, but we’re still designing companies to solve those tame problems. As a consequence, 70% of digital transformations are failing (McKinsey). Marcus Kirsch is on a mission to change all that. 

This inspired me, and hence I invited Marcus to my podcast. We explore how the nature of problems are changing from tame problems into wicked problems, and what this means to the mindsets, organizations and cultures we need to develop to succeed. We also address how our measures should change and how qualitative measures become essential in the process. Last but not least we talk about what Tech-Entrepreneurs need to do differently to drive the transformation and unlock new margin-boosting sources of value.

Here are some of his quotes:

The big thing to realize is that we’re living in an era of problem evolution, not a technology revolution. 

We have organizations who have spent a lot of time creating solutions, without having reviewed what the actual problem is. 

We know that some problems have changed, because technology has entered our life. Technology has to some extent changed our behavior the way we are connected around the globe. And that has led to a type or characteristics of problems to grow and evolve around us, without organizations or people being able to identify those characteristics. And because we haven’t identified it, I think that’s why we’re failing a lot.

During this interview, you will learn four things:

  1. Why it’s key to fall in love with the problem, not the product 
  2. Why the better way to look at finding solutions it in aiming for effectiveness (i.e impact) rather than efficiency
  3. That we have to develop an idea about sustainable failure – to learn faster and grow your innovation muscle better, quicker and more effective
  4. Why it is key to embrace emotion as a skill to truly understand what the problem really looks like.

For more information about the guest from this week:

Next steps:

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