Think Broadly About Solving Problems

Think Broadly About Solving Problems

We often put up with sub-optimum solutions. Things we’ve always done a particular way; ways that mostly just waste time and cause us annoying problems. You know, the tedious stuff as well as the big stuff.

And that realisation we have when, one day, we sort something out and wonder how we ever put up with it for so long.  It makes you feel good when you sort it out but it would have been nice to have done it a long time ago.

I read a great book last year about using design principals for sorting your life out called Design the Life You Love: A Step-by-Step Guide to Building a Meaningful Future by Ayse Birsel

She explains the design principal deconstruction, really well, using chicken soup of all things. Deconstruction is something we try to do when we approach difficult client problems. Mostly though, problems fall into common buckets with neat solutions, and avoiding reinventing the wheel is great advice.

But a lot of people jump too quickly to particular solutions without having first taken a step back to have a look to see how other people might have solved the problem. The best example of this is when engineers design their own project management and billing systems. I get it that they do that it because they can and that they find it interesting, but the systems are usually, well, rubbish and a total waste of time. That time could have been spent on client work. or finding new clients or resources.

We here at T2 love a bit of first principal thinking as much as the nerdiest, lego children all, but this is business. We all just want to get stuff done as efficiently as possible. We always say that we aren’t any smarter than anyone else, we’ve just seen a lot of what works, and what doesn’t. Accounts staff, unfortunately, usually don’t get that advantage, and we love being able to bring them along on projects by sharing what we have seen somewhere else. They love it too.

So next time you need to solve a problem, stop, have a cup of coffee, and have a think about how other people might solve that problem well, or poorly so you can avoid common problems. Oh, and Google, or Duck Duck Go, “how do businesses solve the problem of ………..”.
Photo by Raquel Martínez on Unsplash