Wednesday, October 30, 2013

HS2 and solutioneering

This tweet sums up where we are with HS2. Today the reason most often given for its construction is that more capacity is needed on our railways. Yet, at Stephen Tall points out, this argument was not mentioned when the Coalition announced it would be going ahead with the scheme back in January.

I am reminded of an observation by Roger James about "solutioneering", which he defines thus:
Jumping to a solution before clearly formulating what the problem is (or indeed if there is one at all) or how success or failure are to be judged. Achievement of the solution then becomes the goal; and, when opposition develops, the problem becomes how to get the solution accepted, while the question of how best to solve the original problem, if there was one, never gets discussed at all. I call this mistake solutioneering.


Phil Beesley said...

Existence is awkward.

It depends on how quickly you are wiped out by a professed liberal.

Gawain said...

Good post, JC. Note that, also, there is no debate about where the £40bn is coming from; only "what it should be spent on instead". PEOPLE: THERE IS NO £40bn! And if there were, this would be among the worst possible infrastructure projects on which to spend it.