Problem finders are everywhere. Finding a problem is easy.
Your car won’t start. Yup, you found a problem. Revenue is down, yup another problem. Your advertising isn’t working, yup you found another problem.
It doesn’t take much work to find problems; they are easy to spot because they make us uncomfortable and scare us. Problems are easy to find because of the emotional impact they have on our safety and comfort. We feel unsafe or out of control when problems exist. That’s why we call them problems.
You could almost argue, we don’t find problems they find us. We just simply acknowledge them and some of us are a lot better than others in acknowledging the existence of problems.
Solving problems, on the other hand, that takes work. Because it takes work, most of us choose to stay in the problem identification mode. We choose to demonstrate our value by finding problems. It’s the easy path.
Unfortunately, just identifying problems doesn’t provide very much value without solutions. Problem identification by itself is passive resistance. By spending our time focused on finding problems, without fixing them, we entrench ourselves in the resistance of change.
It goes like this.
We find a problem, then find the problem with trying to solve the problem. We then find the problem with the solution to solving the problem, which then leads to finding the problem to implementing the solution, paying for the solution, teaching the solution, maintaining the solution, etc. We become problem finding machines.
We, falsely, believe that we’re providing value with our finely tuned problem identification skills, but in actuality, we’re just change resistors in problem identifying clothes.
The world doesn’t need more problem identifiers; we need solution creators. We need people with creative ideas for solving the problems we’re so good at identifying.
Solution creators are change agents; they move organizations forward. Solution creators provide a powerful currency of ideas that bring tremendous value to situations.
Solution creators don’t identify problems; they dissect problems from the perspective of what’s not working and why and then go straight to solution mode.
Solution creators operate from the perspective of how can this be better? How do we replace this problem with something better that stops the pain
Creating solutions is hard. You have to understand the problem, you have to understand the root-cause, you have to understand its impact on its environment and more. You can’t create solutions simply knowing a problem exists. It goes much deeper than that.
Creating solutions is hard. You have to be creative. You have to be diligent. You have to flexible. You have to be willing to take risks. You have to be ready to fail. Unlike finding problems, creating solutions takes a lot more work and while you’re creating them can feel uncomfortable.
Problem finding feels good in the beginning, but without solutions amplifies the pain as problem after problem are heaped on one another.
Solution creation ultimately makes the pain go away, but it can be uncomfortable and not feel good while it’s happening.
Too many organizations are steeped in problem finding resistance filled with an army of problem finders looking to prove their value by finding yet another problem that’s keeping them from their goals.
On the other hand, there aren’t enough solution creators, people who can be uncomfortable in the problem in order to make it go away.
Become a solution creator. It’s ultimately what we need.