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Taming Wicked Problems in Strategy

Taming Wicked Problems in Strategy
August 19, 2016 GICT Building Lectures Series

Professor John C. Camillus, Donald R. Beall Professor of Strategic Management and Professor of Industrial Engineering (Secondary) at the University of Pittsburgh, delivered a lecture in the Research Seminar Series organized by the Amrut Mody School of Management. The lecture topic was "Taming Wicked Problems in Strategy Wicked Strategies® and the Business of Humanity®".

In business, some problems are easy, some problems are hard, and some problems are so complex, so intractable, and so threatening to organizations—or entire industries—that they are best described as ?wicked. These problems resist easy interpretation or understanding; they pose questions that seem, to observers, to be unsolvable; and they render traditional analytical tools virtually impotent, requiring new approaches to strategic analysis. While the prevalence of wicked problems in the arena of strategic management has been increasing because of forces in the business environment, the ability of management to respond effectively to these problems has not kept pace. One such systematic approach that offers promise in addressing the challenge of wicked problems has been developed by the Business of Humanity® Project, a joint initiative of the Katz Graduate School of Business and the Swanson School of Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. The professor's presentation addressed the key characteristics of wicked problems that enable their identification, ubiquitous environmental forces that threaten to give rise to wicked problems and Business of Humanity® approach to alchemizing these threatening forces into Wicked Strategies® that tame wicked problems.

John C. Camillus earned his Doctor of Business Administration degree at Harvard University; his Post Graduate Diploma in Management (MBA) at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA); and his Bachelor of Technology degree (in Mechanical Engineering) from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. He has held the Donald R. Beall Endowed Chair in Strategic Management at the Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh since 1991. Prior to joining the University of Pittsburgh he was Professor of Management at IIMA. His research on strategic planning and management control has been funded by diverse organizations including the National Science Foundation and others. He has published extensively in professional journals, including Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review to name a few. At the University of Pittsburgh, John has received numerous awards including, most notably, the "Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award", the "Chancellor’s Distinguished Public Service Award",and the "Inaugural Diversity and Global Leadership Award" at the Katz School.