Strategic Futurists; Value Systems Specialists

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Futurist calls 2011: International Year of Solutions

Monday 20 December 2010

Reckon it's time we had a focus on getting things done and so I am declaring 2011 to be the 'International Year of Solutions'. Seems to me that a lot of talk fests have been gobbling up the neuronal space for a few years now with insufficient ACTION being generated - just lot of promises to consider a possibility for a meeting to be considered to discuss a problem! Additionally there's been lots of grumbling by many people that 'nothing is being done about...(insert own issues here)'. BUT (and it is a mighty large one) too often almost NO solutions are offered. The talk fests and the grumbling then is nothing more than complaining. No actions, just moaning and whingeing. So time has come for action in this the International Year of Solutions. You can still complain - in fact in 2011 you are encouraged to complain more than you ever have before, and there are some simple guidelines to connect your complaints to action...

1.  Complaints are still valid ONLY if connected to at LEAST one potential solution

2.  Complaints are encouraged - you should not put up with poor services, products or unacceptable situations.  Take the personal responsibility to raise your complaint following guideline one above and preferably, guideline three below

3.  Ideally there should be at least 3 alternative solutions offered.  Asking for more of the same thing or a faster or bigger delivery of the same thing is still asking for the same thing.  This shall not be regarded as a legitimate alternative solution

4.  Suggesting a solution does not mean that solution should be automatically accepted by another party.  However, in absence of a better alternative YOUR solution should be enacted to solve the issue.  That puts the onus on the recipient of your suggestion (preferably the person in charge of the 'problem' you have) to come up with an alternative or explain what is preventing your solution from being enacted in order to resolve your complaint or problem.

A tip for journalists during the 2011 International Year of Solutions - make the complainer accountable for suggesting solutions to their complaint.  When listening to a politician, consumer, business owner or some other party make some statement of complaint or claim of an intolerable situation you should ask the following three questions a) 'and what is your first suggested solution to this issue?'; b) and what is your first alternative to your own solution?; and c) 'if neither of those things can be done, what other suggestion(s) do you have?'  That should get people on coming up with answers to problems rather than mere complaints about problems.

I'm going to start the year off by fulfilling my promise to the road toll operator ConnectEast regarding their interesting approach to 'customer service'. I'll highlight the problem and then offer some solutions - stay tuned


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