A tough problem is a high stakes issue you don’t know how to tackle. You probably have one on your plate at this very moment.

How you know you’re looking at a tough problem

Here are some real world examples:

A state-owned rail operator in continental Europe intends to shift ticket purchasing from service counters to self-service machines, but the plan is meeting strong opposition from service counter staff. How can this situation be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction?

The management teams of two hospitals, 18 miles apart, want to integrate 35 services including emergency care. The conversation is being dominated by a well-organised “Save Our A&E” campaign that has gained the strong support of a local newspaper. How can the integration be accomplished successfully, with minimum disruption and distress?

A global food manufacturer wants to create – overnight – a concept for a new product, inspired and evaluated by potential customers. How can this be accomplished?

There is a serious threat of new dog-to-human diseases entering the UK. How can the threat be eliminated?

An oil and gas company located in Oman has discovered an oil reservoir in a rare type of rock. How can the oil be produced at a commercial price?

The CEO of a Dublin-based brewer has received a directive from the parent company’s chairman, instructing the brewer’s management team to establish a close connection with its customers without recourse to third party market research. How can this connection be made?

The contract to provide community arts services in the Welsh valleys has been awarded to an alliance of local authorities. How will the alliance achieve its Year 1 objectives?

The bosses of an R&D facility within a multinational have spent many months developing an innovation strategy. How can they ensure it will be implemented effectively?

The names of the respective organisations will be provided on request.