A challenge: when you are faced with a problem in business, is your first inclination to:
1. Jump straight to a solution of the problem;
2. Classify the problem scope;
3. Explore the problem in detail;
4. Validate the problem actually exists?
Western thinking tends to lend itself to solution finding or solution building straight away, even if the problem is actually a symptom of a larger issue. And even if we don’t jump straight to a solution, we have a tendency to fall back on problem scope and classification, rather than researching and validating a problem.
We all do it. It’s not a crime to admit it. But it is potentially an inefficient way of dealing with something that isn’t operating as expected or desired.
In order to effectively address problems we need to try to resist, or at least delay the temptation of solution-finding. We should be taking that list of items above and following them in reverse; validating the problem, researching and exploring its impact, classifying the scope or schema of the problem and only then, designing solutions.
It’s great to have a creative thinking and problem solving instinct. But solutions to problems will be much more powerful when they have been deeply interrogated.