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Find Your Problem's Secret Ingredients

Did you know that many problems have two secret ingredients?

No, it's not a special sauce or patented process. The secret ingredients are two things that hide under all the symptoms and cloud a problem solvers focus on the situation.

Centered problem solvers figure out what are the secret ingredients and how they are effecting the ideas being created, the pain being felt, the reactions of the people involved. Very often there are two secret ingredients:

Problems have one or both: a solution and/or a viable use.

Sometimes people don't want to solve what is framed as a problem because it already serves their needs. They like it. A person may not see the injustice in unequal distribution of resources if they have all the resources they need. A person may not see hunger as a problem if they eat in fine restaurants every night. A person may not see unhappy customers as a problem if the work is easier when the customer goes away.

The viable use could even be sensible, useful, and correct. Identifying something as a problem doesn't mean that it IS a problem, and certainly not for everyone.

That's why centered problem solvers stay curious. That's why to solve a problem on a long term basis (I'm hesitant to say forever) it's useful to figure out what the secret ingredients are. Your secret ingredients might vary, but they are probably there. What will you do about them?

-- Doug Smith

Front Range Leadership: Training Supervisors for Success

doug smith training: how to achieve your project goals

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