40 Create Better Solutions…

YES! AND… Facilitate. Innovate. Transform – Creative Gorilla # 40

Involve people in exploring the problem as well as generating the solution. It is a much more effective way to tackle challenges…


“There is no human problem which could not be solved if people would simply do as I advised” 
Gore Vidal ~ Artist

Chimpanzee with problem

“I have a problem”

Do you find people are reluctant to help you find or implement solutions?

A colleague and I were running a pilot course on flexible thinking and communication recently. The client’s people, at times, have to take high risk decisions (i.e. someone might die if they get them wrong).

During our pre-course investigations, a member of staff revealed one paradigm in the organisation: that our course was unnecessary because when it mattered, people were just told what to do. No need for creative thinking there.

It was a valid point and caused us to reevaluate how we could position the course in the context of the organisation.

With a bit of thought we developed a preliminary model with high and low “risk” and less and more “time” on two axes, making our best assessment of where flexible thinking and communication fitted.

The model was unfinished and fuzzy. Rather than develop it further, we presented our 2 x 2 matrix as a problem to be explored during the pilot course and asked the delegates to consider it in the context of their organisation.

Wow! What I thought would be a 5 minute conversation turned into 30 minutes of really fruitful discussion. We finished with an enhanced model, placing the course firmly in context and justifying the reason for it. Brilliant outcome!


When seeking a solution to a challenge, it is tempting to either define the problem and ask for a solution or find the solution and try to justify it to others. How much more powerful it is to involve people in the problem, have them define that and find their own solutions.

They understand the problem fully and have much more motivation to implement a solution they have helped devise.


Before you next rush to find a solution for a challenge that involves others, why not step back and think how you might involve them in exploring the challenge?

To Close

My colleague and I had discussed our model and thought there was scope for using creative thinking and communication tools in high risk, low time situations where orders must be given and obeyed.

Imagine our delight therefore, when the person most involved in high risk situations suggested that very scenario, albeit allowing more time. I wonder, would he have agreed with us, if we had proposed this before the discussion?

John Brooker I Facilitate, Innovate, Transform.

Yes! And… We facilitate leaders and teams in medium to large organisations internationally to:

  • Make Meetings Outstanding
  • Make Transformation Simpler
  • Turn Opportunities in to Reality

Imagine what we can do for you…

Contact John or Kate Brooker:

Speak: +44 (0) 20 8869 9990

Write: [email protected]

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