Tackling Wicked Problems

Tackling Wicked Problems

The challenge, as Albert Einstein once remarked, is that “the problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them.” Our generation is faced with many wicked problems that are by definition large, messy, complex and systemic so there are no easy solutions.

Some of yesterday’s attempts to fix these problems generated unforeseen consequences … but not right away. Too often what works in the short-term makes things worse in the long-term, and what works in the long-term makes things worse in the short-term, leaving us confused and frustrated with our attempts to solve the wicked problems.

Tackling Wicked Problems is about helping problem-solvers develop the skills to break through barriers and accomplish meaningful change. After all, we all know that programs and strategies don’t solve problems: people do.

The Oshkosh Area Community Foundation is committed to moving this important work forward in our community by nurturing a change of mindset across all sectors and encouraging the development of initiatives that bring about real and lasting change.

We are excited to take this journey together! Please contact us with your thoughts, ideas and questions.

Continuous Improvement

Making incremental improvements over time

The Poverty Outcomes and Improvement Network Team (POINT) is an initiative, funded by the Basic Needs Giving Partnership, to equip the region with continuous improvement methodologies focused on poverty. The initiative is using continuous improvement processes to strengthen existing poverty reduction efforts, address service gaps and measure our progress on reducing poverty in Northeast Wisconsin.

There are nearly 90 active improvement teams participating in this initiative. Over an 18-month period, organizations participated in quarterly learning sessions and received hands on coaching to better understand the concept of continuous improvement.


POINT Learning Session 1 – February 2016

POINT Learning Session 2 – June 2016

POINT Learning Session 3 – October 2016

POINT Learning Session 4 – January 2017

POINT Learning Session 5 – May 2017


Group discussion notes – 12/2015

POINT / Frequently Asked Questions – 12/2015