Puzzles, Mysteries, and Muddles: Problem Solving and Innovation

Turning Vision into Value

If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, or if you’re visiting, please invite your friends and colleagues and join us for the Silicon Valley Innovation Institute’s Innovation Society 2010 Series…

SVII “First Wednesday” Innovation Society Meeting

January 6th, 2010
6:00 – 9:30 p.m.

Program: Puzzles, Mysteries, and Muddles: Problem Solving and Innovation

Guest Speaker: Jerry Talley, Organizational Development Consultant

We live in a world filled with problems that are more complex, more conflicted, and more interconnected than ever before. And yet we bring to this daunting challenge the same, linear problem solving model articulated in the 1950′s. Over the last 20+ years of consulting, some consultants have come to believe there are 6 types of problems in the world—not just one! And each type requires a different strategy for successful resolution. The “one size fits all” strategy we have grown up with will not suffice, if we are to address the volume and difficulty of modern day problems.

This limited view of problem solving has also limited our understanding of the role of innovation in problem solving. Each problem type calls for a different innovative focus.

When you discern the essential nature of any problem situation, you can pinpoint the most powerful strategy for addressing it, the point where innovation will add dramatic value rather than just variety, and the best role you can play in facilitating the process which often, if not usually involves improvisation.

Jerry Talley is the veteran of three careers. His first venture was on the faculty of Stanford University teaching in the Sociology Department for 18 years. Stanford was also the source of his PhD.

Coincident with that experience, he had a practice as a Marriage and Family Therapist for about ten years. He still sometimes lectures at Stanford and other Bay area schools on relationship issues.

Starting in the late 1970′s, he moved into organizational development consulting, accumulating over 250 client engagements since that time. For 16 years he managed the South Bay Organizational Development Network, a 500-member professional development group for HR, Training, and OD practitioners.

His clients have included companies in high tech R&D, hospitality, health care, the military, manufacturing, insurance, banking and credit unions, education, publishing, entertainment, mental health, city and county government, not-for-profits, and large consulting houses…and one organic grocery store.

Through all these experiences, his common focus was on how people think about and manage complex and troubling situations, and how they form relationships with each other (or not) in the process.

For more information, visit: http://jltalley.com/pages/aboutJLT.html.

Program Schedule:

6:00 Arrival and networking
6:45 Community buffet dinner
7:10 SVII Focus in 2010: The relationship between Improvisation and Innovation—brief discussion facilitated by SVII Founder Howard Richard Lieberman
7:30 Feature Presentation
8:30 Showing Up as an Innovation Advocate
9:30 Closing

Event fee – $30. Pay at the meeting or use PayPal to pre-pay by credit or debit card.


Bay Cafe, Bayshore Ballroom

1875 Embarcadero Road, Palo Alto

Drive down Embarcadero East, past Ming’s, turn left into the Palo Alto Municipal Golf Course; from the parking lot, walk up the wide path toward the golf course buildings; the restaurant will be on the right.

Restaurant direct line: 650-856-0999

Please be sure to RSVP at friends@svii.org.

Need to reach us at the last minute? Call 415-307-0645.

Archives and Outlook

To find past program archives, and the current outlook for future programs, see the SVII “First Wednesday” group of SVII Society Online. While you’re there, sign up as a member of our online community of Innovation Advocates.

Stay in Touch

Wish to join our mailing list? Email friends@svii.org. Plan to join the SVII Innovation Society each “first Wednesday” of the month.

Keep checking here for program updates.

SVII Sustaining Innovation Program

Is sustaining innovation important to you? Consider a support gift, supporting or sustaining membership, or event sponsorship for the SVII Innovation Society. See Sustaining Innovation for details. SVII is a 501(c)3 non-profit educational organization.

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