You may know the tool "The Five Whys" from Six Sigma , it's just as applicable in this environment for all of the same reasons. It's just as powerful in this space. So, once we identify that, we want to go from the flair of as many different perspectives, as much information as we can to focus in on what's the "one thing". And we really want to get it down to one thing.
What's the one thing that we really want to address in this? Have you ever had the privilege to work with or for the consulting firm McKinsey & Company? Or maybe you've read "The McKinsey Mind" or "The McKinsey Way"? If so, then you already know about how powerful a hypothesis can be, and what that enables you to do.
When you create a hypothesis, you have gone through the information and you've thought it through. You've identified what you think is the issue, and what you think might be a way to address that. Then you can begin to evaluate the assumptions that you've baked into that hypothesis. Then it is time to consider how to test that hypothesis. The more quickly you test and either prove or disprove (probably disprove) your original hypothesis the better. Then you can do an even better job of focusing in on the one thing that you want to address. And you might, in that hypothesis, even be able to identify or at least begin to align yourself with what are the levers that we're going to pull or that we can pull with this hypothesis. What are the buttons that we can push? What are the outcomes that we can expect?
Then once you have identified that you have your focal point. If you think about it from a photography perspective, as you move closer or further away from your topic, the focal point changes. That's what framing does . In terms of framing, we also then make sure that we're focused on the things that are really important to us. We really want to focus our attention on just one thing, whatever is the most interesting, or most pertinent, or most powerful of the issues we uncovered as we were falling in love with our problem.
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.
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