Yes, of course we know “it’s the system, stupid”. But it’s still hard to resist the siren song of silver bullets.

Look at the debate over youth crime in Alice Springs. Politicians are arguing about the relative advantages of policing VERSUS alcohol control, and whether Voice to Parliament would make a difference.

By comparison, here’s how Iceland successfully tackled its entrenched youth drinking problem. It adopted a diverse mix of strategies, including: 

(1) Parent organisations in every school (community organising)

(2) A national curfew for young people (policing)

(3) Greatly increasing the number of youth recreational programs (services)

Notice how DIVERSE that mix is.

And so, of course, youth crime in Alice Springs won’t be tackled by police OR alcohol bans OR the Voice, but by a diverse constellation of strategies like food kitchens, a lot of recreational activities, local leadership, alcohol regulation, policing, the Voice to Parliament, all those things and more, plus curiosity, patience and a load of listening.

So, at the start of new year of tackling our own wicked problems, let’s reflect the value of a diverse mix of strategies. 

Here is my favourite diverse strategy thinking tool:

Happy strategising folks.