Tag Archives: problem definition

3 tips that will help you better define a problem

Mission Viejo

Takeru Kobayashi (Photo credit: yamchild)

If you start with the wrong problem, it’s unlikely you’ll ever arrive at an effective solution.

Think about a problem you’d really like to solve, and before you spend a lot of time and energy trying to solve that problem, first define exactly what the problem is. Or better yet, redefine the problem.

The Big Bang approach to problem definition

The way a problem is defined guides the way people think about it.

You can never have/experiment with enough tools. I like to experiment with various “problem definition” approaches, as I believe this is the most important step in the innovation process. While there are various ways to define a problem, I think there isn’t a more intuitive way to do it.

This is important because it is a very common innovation issue to jump in before taking time to define the problem/challenge. As Michael Michalko, author of the creative thinking book Thinkertoys, says, “The more time you devote to perfecting the wording of your challenge, the closer you will be to a solution.”