Desperately seeking ‘solution’

Posted by Emma Nicol | 14 February 2018

Categories: Campaign Communications Design

problem solving

When it comes to problem solving, we’ve all heard the saying ‘slowing down to speed up’. It’s very true and something that we should all be encouraged to do a little more. In our day to day life, we are all too often solution focused. Continually solution-ising, when we should be staying in the enquiry space for longer.

Problem Solving Issues

We all have a desire to fix things when presented with a problem we automatically try and find the links, rationalise, connect up, put things in some kind of order, categorise and sort. This stops us from really understanding the cause of the problem and how it came about in the first place. It’s important to slow down and examine the matter of question or issue, get a bit grubby and scratch your head, observe the obstacle and resist the itch to climb over it.

The slowing down to speed up rationale is particularly important when problem solving in our industry. All too often as a creative agency, we’re presented with a brief that is a self-diagnosis of a marketing problem. These briefs often contain a required set of deliverables for a communication plan.

I’m not putting everyone in that basket, sometimes a brief and marketing-need is the result of a set thoroughly investigated conclusions, but often it’s just a well-intentioned interpretation and internal, inward-facing opinion.

Without a phase of analysing issues for longer, too often it results in premature problem solving, relying on pre-established solutions and paths already trodden, often the path of least resistance.

As an agency, we like to start with a project where we are able to walk in the shoes of the person or audience we are talking to. This way we can offer a perspective based on true understanding and explore the origin and source. It means we can look at the barriers, tensions, and stress. When you lean into the areas of tension quite often what’s invisible become visible.

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