Sometimes "solutions" can be just as "problematic"...

The following is the original and the rewrite can be found by clicking here.

If you want to evoke a response just mention a "problem"... "I'm glad it's not my problem". "I wouldn't want to be you". "Oh, that's a tough situation". "That's really unfortunate, I hope you can work through it". The bigger the problem, the more exclamation marks you will find involved.

Whereas, if you happen to mention you have a "solution", you will elicit a far more upbeat response... "Way to go". "You saved the day". "You are a goddess and have saved the company". The bigger the solution, the more exclamation marks you will find involved.

Intuitively, leaning towards the "solution" side of the equation makes for a better day; although having said this, the Contrarian off in the back corner just looked up and wants to offer a thought or two. He has no debate with the fact that "solutions" are better than "problems" and he also wants to scream out, "You are a goddess and have saved the company!!!" He does however suggest that you shouldn't be so quick to perceive a solution as all rainbows and unicorns, as they can be problematic unto themselves (no pun intended; well maybe a little).

Solutions are defined by the problems they "solve for", so as a quick litmus test you need to ask your self:

  • "Do I have a solution for a recognized problem?"
  • "Do I have a solution looking for a problem?"
  • "Do I have something really cool, but not sure what to do with it?"

Other questions may come to mind, but the point is a solution needs to have a problem to solve for - Anything else is problematic as it becomes distracting, wastes time, and detracts from finding a real solution. And even with an aligned problem and solution, it doesn't mean you are free and clear to receive all of those accolades because there is still that whole matter of "line of sight".

Now that you have a problem that has found a solution, the question becomes how are you going to get there. People will want to understand how you are going to actually get to the solution - Do you have "line of sight" to how you will make your solution a real one... what is your pathway to success?

The concept of "line of sight" is beneficial in three regards:

  1. "Line of sight" forces the development of the plan making the solution a reality; it forces the execution steps for success to be developed.
  2. "Line of sight" reminds you to develop tight and concise language to articulate the problem, solution, and the pathway to success. More often than not, you will need leaders, partners or investors to "see what you see" to get support.
  3. "Line of sight" will help you determine if the solution is workable in the first place.

It looks like the Contrarian is finished and has gone back to whatever he was doing... although he did mention something about "you saving the company".