Recently, I participated in a meeting and heard one of the speakers use this terminology “…how to translate problems into design solutions…”. Our meeting continued well into discussions on areas of opportunities and statistics re to the subject at hand. As I verbally injected ‘yays’ and ‘nays’ throughout the meeting, my mental attention continued to go back to the earlier expressed idea of ‘turning problems into solutions’.

The Chinese are said to interpret the word ‘problem or challenge’ into what is our English word for ‘opportunity’. The idea is, by no means, a new concept. However, I was in that moment reminded that we are not always approaching the everyday challenges in our lives as opportunities – and therein lay many of our problems! It’s a self defeating circle when we do not – first – find the opportunities in those things we see as challenges. This may be obvious; yet, it is not acted upon as though its advantageous to do so. Why is this?

While there are many reasons in our day to fall head-on into challenges as full-on problems; its often our ‘trained reflexes’ that disallow us to turn the tide early-in and look for the opportunities. Sometimes, lets face it, the opportunities may require more work – or honesty – than we wish to give to the situation at the time. It may appear more expedient to simply face new challenges with the same old processes. Still, as I engaged more into the meeting at hand, I realized that the new team of people I was meeting with did not bring with them the old prejudices, experiences and failures that the more seasoned members of our team did. Therefore, they came prepared to find solutions to – not reasons for – the challenges we were discussing. And herein is from where my admiration for their process evolved.

It is an inherent process for humans to learn through repetition – and whether it be good or bad – may be fraught with failing. Coming into new challenges with a fresh perspective is not easy, and may feel risky. It is still the right and smart thing to do. Doing so enabled those new team members to be solvers and solutions architects with nimbleness, authority and clarity. There were enough of us oldsters present to ensure they were not looking through crystal glasses; still, in the end, they outweighed us with their data supported, white board approach to turning our challenges into our clients’ solutions.

I’m very excited about the future of their careers and our company! Here’s what they did: They decided to ADD and Conquer.

A-Ask the relevant questions to the outcome desired. No blaming, no excuses, no prejudices.

D-Data driven answers. What does the data support? Without emotion, does the data support the direction and/or process? Does it answer ‘Why’?

D-Delivery model. Who, What, When, Where, How????..about Everything!

When it comes to Labor, to Divide and Conquer is smart. When it comes to translating problems into designing solutions, to ADD and Conquer is divine!

It was a holistically fun process, even as we individually shed old emotional truths that no longer support new market direction. Implementing their approach into your daily lives, faithfully and fully, can bring excitement and certainty to you. It did for me:)