We problem-solve every day. Always working hard to provide solutions.
We commonly approach problems as if they are one-sided. What I mean by this is that we look at problems as if they stand alone because they are “outside of ourselves”. As if they are a chair that simply needs a leg replaced.
In doing this we fail, most times, to both understand and recognize there is an interface between a problem and the outside world. This interface is a human one that manifests itself in two ways: 1) between the problem and our perception of it (one human interface) and the other being between the problem and others that are challenged by it ( a second interface). Both individuals & organizations need to be sensitive to both of these human interfaces if they seek a solution that will be effective.
Those focused on design, spend their lives exploring the tension within this human interface. They go much further in not only solving a physical or organizational problem but within it, building a solution that adjusts for the many human interfaces the problem touches. Good design makes this human interface seamless. Removing us (and others) as an obstacle in implementing a solution. Giving the solution discovered a higher probability of succeeding.
Technical expertise demands it partner with our soft skills to help us find more effective solutions. Nuance, context, trade-offs, perspective, defining priorities, and using experience are soft skills most valued possessions. (As long as we can keep our emotions away.) Each alone without the other weakens us. Understanding this partnership empowers us to go beyond what is apparent toward what we need to make things work.
This leads us to see we need to be more flexible in our thinking. Never solving problems as if we are a dictator. But showing a problem the respect by taking the time to explore it in much greater detail & depth, so as to see its many sides before working towards a solution.
“Measure twice, cut once” never gets old. Not even here.