Originated by Jack Martin Leith, problem transformation is the practice of transforming tough problems into ambitious outcomes and widespread value.

A problem transformation practitioner:

Has benevolent intent.

Is curious, has an experimental way of working, and sees possibility where others see limitation.

Recognises that “the problem” is a construct, and that each person constructs “the problem” in a particular way. As a consequence, the practitioner welcomes diverse descriptions of “the problem”.

Works collaboratively in order to transform “the problem” into an ambitious outcome where the greatest amount of value is generated for the greatest number of beneficiaries.

Instead of searching for root causes, identifies and removes constraints in order to evoke a new reality in which “the problem” ceases to exist.

Knows that complexity exists solely in the mind of the observer.

Spans multiple disciplines or is part of a multidisciplinary team.

Is not wedded to any ideology, belief system, model, concept, framework, method or tool.

Is versatile and able to move fluidly between a variety of roles including strategist, intervention designer, concept originator, facilitator, coach, teacher and thinking partner.

Aims to expand the problem transformation capability of the team or organisation.

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Insights from Robert Fritz, Humberto Maturana, Russell Ackoff, and James Wilk