Are You Solving the Right Problems?

Subtitle: 
Reframing them can reveal unexpected solutions
Author: 
Wedell-Wedellsborg, Thomas
Publisher: 
Harvard Business School Press
Date published: 
2017
Record type: 
Journal Title: 
Harvard Business Review
Source: 
Harvard Business Review, Vol. 95, No. 1, January-February 2017, pp. 76-83
Abstract: 

In surveys of 106 C-suite executives representing 91 private- and public-sector companies from 17 countries, the author found that a full 85% agreed that their organizations were bad at problem diagnosis, and 87% agreed that this flaw carried significant costs. Fewer than one in 10 said they were unaffected by the issue. What they struggle with, it turns out, is not solving problems but figuring out what the problems are. And creative solutions nearly always come from an alternative explanation for--or a reframing of--your problem. The point of reframing is not to find the "real" problem but, rather, to see if there is a better problem to solve. The author outlines seven practices for effective reframing: (1) Establish legitimacy. (2) Bring outsiders into the discussion. (3) Get people's definitions in writing. (4) Ask what's missing. (5) Consider multiple categories. (6) Analyze positive exceptions. (7) Question the objective.

Language: 

CITATION: Wedell-Wedellsborg, Thomas. Are You Solving the Right Problems? . : Harvard Business School Press , 2017. Harvard Business Review, Vol. 95, No. 1, January-February 2017, pp. 76-83 - Available at: http://library.africa-union.org/are-you-solving-right-problems

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