The stakes are high.

High levels of complexity and uncertainty are present.

There are multiple internal and external stakeholders with diverse perspectives and conflicting agendas.

There is no agreement about the fundamental nature of the problem, and there is no common language for discussing it.

The desired outcome is disputed, unclear or unknown.

There is a lack of consensus about the type of intervention (such as change management, design thinking, internal communications, coaching, action learning, or conflict transformation) that is most likely to be effective.

New ways of thinking and working are called for.

A successful result will clear the way for significant value to be generated.

You know you need external assistance, but none of your usual service providers can provide the necessary combination of generalist outlook and specialist know-how.

The time to act is now.

Some real world examples of a tough problem, drawn from Jack’s casebook