Reframe Your Problem! Because a clearly (re)defined problem means you’re on the way to a solution!
Companies normally take a very general approach to their problems and needs. They tend to always view and express them the same way. Sufficient importance isn’t normally placed on this first step to a company reinventing itself, or simply finding new solutions to its challenges.
If you always approach your problems from the same perspective, IT’LL BE DIFFICULT TO FIND NEW SOLUTIONS!
Lots of companies get in touch with us because they’re undergoing a phase of transformation, digital or otherwise. But how are they going to transform if they keep starting from the same old perspective?
The starting point will shape everything that comes afterwards. So, it’s better to start by reassessing your challenges. Even if you’re convinced that they’re clear, this phase often brings surprises. And unidentified opportunities!
If you don’t question your problems, you might miss interesting solutions!
Even when launching innovation processes, many companies take a “classic” approach to the exploration phase. They perform customer journeys, produce empathy maps and interview customers (both internal and external ones). But, if all a company does is implement these tools without taking a more disruptive approach that makes new insights and ways of looking at the problem thrive, their starting point will be predictable and they’ll do no more than come up with ideas to improve. If you take the same old perspective on your problems, then you’ll see the same old things.
If you ask yourself the same old questions, you’ll end up with the same old answers.
What’s more, asking isn’t enough. Henry Ford summed it up years ago: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”
That’s why “classic” focus groups or “classic” meetings to discuss the problem won’t help you unlock your initial vision. You must have more ground-breaking methodologies and perspectives. That is how you will identify new ways to approach your problems.
For the exploration phase to lead you to new perspectives that will let you unlock lines of work towards new solutions, you need two key phases:
1. Define the problem and get a new perspective: go from problems that are often generic or recurring to specific challenges that you can attack from new, defined perspectives.
Serious Game Binnakle Mission 0 (https://binnakle.com/binnakle-mission-0.html) is an excellent tool if you want a different start to these reflections. Co-creation activities, pretotypes and experiments can also help you make new insights flourish, insights that will lead you to new questions.
2. Once you have identified the defined challenges that can lead you to unlock new lines of work, you will transform them into questions that will optimise the creative process of searching for solutions. The way the challenge is formulated (the words you use or how stimulating or provocative it is) has a major influence on the effectiveness of the ideas phase.
So, creative techniques to reformulate questions and semantic methodologies are useful.
Every company that has understood that before starting to look for solutions while taking the same old perspective on the problem, you have to dedicate some time (even just a little) to rethinking and reformulating it, have come to realise that this phase is key to finding new solutions. They know that it’s a key stage in transforming into more agile and innovative organisations.
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Idea generation is only one step in the process of creative thinking