When we talk to our clients about our innovation events we emphasise the need to have defined problems that can be solved quickly and efficiently, and in a way that is meaningful to the participants.
Last week one of the Disruptors was involved in what we’d call an executive round table event, where groups of senior decision makers tried to tackle a series of major issues in society. But the problem statements were unnecessarily complicated, and the tasks were too detailed and dense for the participants to properly address the problems, and to consider the tools needed to solve them.
Let’s remember, these were major issues in society. They were problems worth solving. But the organisers hadn’t invested in making the problems resonate with the participants.
It’s a common problem in corporate problem solving. And this week, HBR explored the issue
, noting that finding ways to connect with participants is crucial to ensure that problems actually get solved.
If you are investing in problem solving, make sure you think about who is in the room, and how you can communicate problems effectively. Otherwise you risk generating ideas that oversimplify the issues, and compromise a solution.