At present we talk often and much about ‘modern issues’. Wicked problems that are more complex than ever and cannot be resolved by one strong leader or one discipline, nor dealt with by linear or logical thinking. It is not rocket science; it is much more complex… Consider the refugee issue, the food problems, climate change, big data, security... More than anything, we live in a world in which ‘everything is changing faster than ever’ ...

But… is this really all so new? Or have we as humankind seen this all before? What can we learn from various tribes and cultures in all corners of the world, and at different times when it comes to innovation and the collaborative resolution of wicked, complex problems?


The solutions that dominate the dialogue and approach are about the creation of multidisciplinary teams that can generate solutions as innovative hotspots. Sometimes in a short-term organized workshop, sometimes by organizing an entire work process differently and sustainably. The keywords here are organizing differently, new leadership, fast, flexible, not too top-down, innovative hotspots, versatile, low level responsibility, dispersed leadership, multi-disciplinary cooperation, self organization, autonomy and agile. We are very curious as to what anthropology can teach us about these important matters.

AGILE and self-organisation

How really New and Different is this? Isn’t it just differently the same? New techniques with old human dynamics? And what does anthropology tell us about innovating: how do people do that? What can we learn from tribes and their cultural best practices? A few questions that we will be taking on our travels in the period ahead:

  • Which anthropological lessons can we find in all kinds of cultures when it comes to the resolution of wicked problems and the creation of innovative hotspots?
  • Autonomy and the need for leadership; how are they related?
  • How does agile actually work in practice?
  • Is agile working actually the answer to wicked problems?

so many questions

Wicked problems demand cooperation between tribes, between organizations, between people with different interests and opinions. How can anthropological insights help us in this? We already have a few ideas, but want to collect more stories, more answers and perspectives on our journeys through the Corporate Tribe and beyond. To be continued...

Follow our quest in the ezine.

About us

HumanDimensions looks at companies and organizations through the eyes of an anthropologist. How do people shape cultures and cultures shape people? We travel around the world looking for ways of building strong tribes, safe for diversity and ready for change. And we bring our findings to the world of organizing and cooperating through our excellent keynote speeches, master classes and training courses. Deep Democracy. Inclusion. Diversity. Organizational culture. Leadership.

Facebook Twiter Instagram

Twitter Human Dimensions

Twitter Jitske Kramer


How about an informative, inspiring and provocative ezine in your Inbox every six weeks? With articles, blogs, vlogs and all our latest news?

* indicates required

© 2019 Human Dimensions B.V. All rights reserved. Under aproval price changes and any typing errors. Site by BlueBird Media. Privacy