Fixing The Thing


How does anyone ever solve a thing, anything?

Well we often sit round a table with peers, we buy it in through an adviser or maybe we wake up with an idea and go for it. It’s all a bit random right? The idea of a team of people in a brainstorm solving a problem is probably going to deliver a mediocre outcome and it’s a risky thing – and creating a solution in total isolation just as risky. Somewhere between the two lies the right approach.

The problem with problems are that they are not solved by the people who are closest to them. There are some huge paradoxes that are worth understanding.

  • Putting a boundary around issues acts as a challenge for the boundary to be broken. That’s creativity!
  • Ignoring the data at the same time as intelligently investigating it is not a common skill.
  • Objectivity is probably unlikely by the people inside the business.
  • An expert is only helpful when the problem statement has been validated
  • Real impartiality over the outcome is vital but highly unlikely to come from someone whose business model relies on the outcome

We get asked a lot where best to apply our thing – structured, logical and visual thinking.

Well that’s the thing. There is no one answer to that. But everyone is preoccupied about some ‘thing’. As you head up the stack of leadership (in the organizational sense) then the thing becomes a bigger thing until you get to need to fix the whole thing..

You need to think about the ‘thing’ because the thing is only likely to be fixed -

  • When the leadership admit they need objective help about the thing
  • When complexity confounds a clear path to the thing
  • When leaders realize that all other attempts to fix the thing have failed.

So we do our thing -

  • When previous attempts to resolve the thing have failed
  • When creativity and smart thinking needs to be applied to thinking about the thing.
  • When the thing we are thinking about needs to be shared with everybody else
  • When leaders realize that the thing is connected to a bunch of other things
  • When people really want to tackle the thing completely and not in isolation of the whole system of things.

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Just Thinking

johncaswell @johncaswell

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