Observation – Problem – Innovation
Observation is the key.
Many times problems occur in front of us but we don’t catch them. Problems that have workarounds become invisible.Â Since you have a way around the problem eventually you don’t see it as a problem. You have to be able toÂ observe your own actions.Â That can be very difficult to do but it also opens the mind to observe more deeply. The effect is to question (within reason!)Â why you do things in a certain way. When a co-worker or customer complains about a problem. Capture that issue. It is a fleeting item and can be lost if you don’t capture immediately.Â Be sure to understand it from the viewpoint it was found from. That lets you know not only what the problem is but who needs to be satisfied with the solution.
The problem is the lock.
Extrapolate what you saw and try to describe the issue as clearly as you can. Typically it will take multiple tries because the words you need to use might not be in your normal vocabulary. Describe the issue at the root. Do not solve the issue at this stage. The better you can describe the concept of the problem the more effective you will be at finding a solution.
Innovation turns the handle and opens the door.
Now apply yourself to the extracted problem concept. The innovation needed to solve the problem does not work in a straight line. Expect bumps and dead ends. Write or draw any possible solutions you can think of. Your approach should branch out in all directions. Explore the concept for the solution might be. Change the parameters of the problem a bit. Are you blocking the way to the solution by restricting your innovation within the limits of your expertise?Â Limiting your solution to one user type?Â Reach beyond into what needs done to solve the issue not how it needs done. When you can describe in real terms what should be done to solve the issue you are on the path to an innovation. Then start looking for the how to for the solution.Â Don’t be surprised if it requires some special knowledge you don’t have.
Observation is the key. The problem is the lock. Innovation unlocks the solution.
Filed under: Problems
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