THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC AND BOX 4

I was musing over the pandemic and how people are reacting.

The media and certain politicians keep demanding

Definite answers

Certainty

Unchanging Plans

Clarity

It occurred to me that the present situation is a perfect example of a “Box 4” scenario.

The Creswick Williams model goes a long way to explaining how people react.

Briefly the four-box model says that:

  • In box 1 we face problems which we understand and what is more we know what the solutions are
  • In box 2 we face problems which we do not understand. However, once we clarify the problem the solution is known
  • In box 3 the problem we face is clear and understood. However, there are many solutions and it is unclear which is most likely to succeed. Even if our chosen solution appears to be successful, we still do not know if other solutions would have been preferable
  • Finally, in box 4 the problems facing us are unclear and keep changing and there are many solutions, none of which are clearly the “right” one. Even if our chosen answer seems to be working, at the drop of a hat the problem can change rendering our choice ineffective.

DOES BOX 4 SOUND FAMILIAR?

Since the release of the “dreaded virus” the world has been living very much in BOX 4.

What do people try to do when faced with such problems?

They clamour for the simplicity of Box 1

It is a shame that due to the situation we have been unable to run our Grimes scenario where we create a box 4 scenario in which participants can immerse themselves and learn how to best work in the uncertain world.

How we would have loved to get the news reporters, politicians and other doom-mongers on a Grimes programme to help them learn how to deal with the changing reality and stop clamouring for concrete, unchanging answers and shouting U Turn when the changing problems and emerging data demand a change in direction.

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