Fall in Love with the Problem

An excerpt from my workshop

The  very  first  thing  we  want  to  do  is  we  want  to  make  sure  that  we  fall  in  love  with  the  problem.  Now  it's  really,  really  tempting  to  start  jumping  to  conclusions;  to  start  coming  up  with  solutions  to  our  problem  before  we've  really  vetted  the  problem.  

We  can  kind  of  think  of  this  like  an  A3.  The  first  section  that  you  fill  out  in  an  A3  is  not  the countermeasures.  First you definine  the  problem.   Let͛s  do  it  now  as  an  example  exercise  for  you  to  do  walking  through  this.   Think  of  a  current  problem  that  you  have.   Write  it  down  (go  ahead,  really).

 The  first  thing  you  do  is  make  sure  you  truly  understand  the  problem,  and  that's  really  what  we're  talking  about  here.   Totally  immerse  yourself  into  what  that  problem  is.  Now  the  cool  and  interesting  part  of  this  is  that  you  are  already  doing  that,  because  we're  talking  about  addressing  your  problem.  So,  you're  already  immersed.  It's  not  an  academic  issue.  It's  something  that  you're  living,  something  that  you're  experiencing.   

But  we  also  know  that  there  are  other  folks  that  have  different  perspectives  on  this  issue.  So,  part  of  what  we  want  to  do  is  make  sure  that  we  understand  it  from  all  of  those  other  perspectives  or  as  many  as  we  can  discover,  as  many  as  we  can  define,  as  many  as  we  can  explore.  We  call  this  a  flair  process.  We  want  to  get  as  much  information  as  we  can,  and  there's  no  such  thing  as  bad  information.  The  more  information  we  have  about  the  problem  and  the  different  perspectives;  what  are  the  folks  upstream  doing  that  impacts  the  problem  that  you're  addressing?  What  about  the  folks  downstream?  If  you  fix  your  problem,  what  does  that  do  to,  with,  or  for  them?  We  want  to  make  sure  that  we  put  on  as  many  pairs  of  shoes  as  we  can,  right?  Walk  in  the  shoes  of  the  other  folks  and  see  what  it  looks  like  from  their  perspective.   

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This is a portion of the Appendix from "Standing On Shoulders: A Leader's Guide to Digital Transformation".

It is taken directly from a workshop I do on design thinking.   It is lightweight enough to use for team retrospectives, and still powerful enough to use for product, service, or process development.

Standing On Shoulders