An apocryphal story:
A man you know is hungry.
There are 4 ways you could solve his problem:
- Slap him about a bit. This will take his mind of it. Hunger gone, problem solved.
- Give him a fish to eat. Hunger gone, problem solved.
- Give him a fishing rod and show them how to fish. Hunger gone, problem solved.
- Develop a first-world infrastructure with trawlers, freezers, distribution centres, corner stores and fish fingers. Hunger gone, problem solved.
I’d love to claim credit for this line of thinking
But it came from a gentleman called Russell Ackoff. He called the 4 methods
His point was that the further you take your problem solving, the more likely you will make the problem go away for ever.
There is an extra twist:
Absolving and Resolving don’t count as solving the problem. I’m sure you would agree.
Solving, though valid, involves current knowledge. If there is a known solution you shouldn’t have to waste your time on it.
As a manager — a paid problem solver — only Dissolving problems is a worthwhile use of your time.
How did you spend your time today?
This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of James Lawther – View the original post