What’s your problem?

Seriously, what is your problem?

When we think of brainstorming, we often picture these philosophical discussions that lead to grandiose thoughts – sessions that chart the course of entire careers.

And those types of thinking sessions do happen from time to time.

But when it comes to everyday thinking, we aren’t tasked to Think Big, we’re tasked with solving a very real, very present problem. In that problem solving, we’ll often sit down and say something like “We just got the results back from the all employee survey and engagement is way down. What do we do?”

I’ll tell you what we end up doing. We buy a pizza lunch for the team and we start kicking around solutions. “More communication.” “What about renewing our recognition program?” “Let’s hold a celebration event with the President.”

This is where our mistake comes in.

In this scenario, we think “engagement” is the problem. Truth is, we don’t yet know what the problem is. Sure, we know that engagement is an issue, but do we know why engagement is an issue?

Before we jump in with two feet in search of a solution, we need to clearly articulate the problem. We need to understand its symptoms. We have to have some idea about what we’re trying to solve in the first place.

Don’t get fooled by a single issue. Use a pain point to do some digging and understand what you’re truly looking for in the first place.

- Jason