The problems pile up and soak up your time. They glare at you from your to-do list and you’re not quite sure of the next step.

It is this: define the problem.

Stand back from it (because often we don’t) and…

1. Decide what the problem is, and what it is not.
2. Define where the problem is, and where it is not.
3. Define when the problem exists, and when it does not.
4. Describe how the problem occurs, and what happens when it doesn’t.
5. Notice if it has variations in intensity or magnitude, and why.

Then think how a complete stranger might define the problem. Someone who is not steeped in your company culture and so is not working from your assumptions. Better yet, ask someone external. Surprisingly, this often works well with a child because you have to explain the problem differently to the way you would normally think of it.

For more ideas, and a YouTube link to a famous movie moment, click here.

My best wishes, Paul