1. Having an interesting problem to solve drives creativity.
I thrive on understanding challenges and exploring the options to overcome them in collaboration with other people and organisations.
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking that we used when we created them” — Albert Einstein
“Problems are nothing but wake up calls for creativity” — Gerhard Gschwandtner
Problems can manifest themselves in many ways, from niggles that just mildly irritate, to great big boulders which block our path in moving forward. The definition of the word problem tells us it is something which is unwelcome or causing us harm. It needs to be dealt with. So, if we can’t ignore it, we need to get tackling it. Rarely is there only one way to solve a problem and through remembering that there is more than one way to crack an egg, we can begin exploring the various options available.
2. Problems are an opportunity for learning.
We all experience difficulties, failure and disappointment. The trick is not to be put off by them. Get used to overcoming hurdles, discovering the work arounds and most importantly quickly reflecting on what’s happened and learning the lessons for the next time. Without failure we don’t have the opportunity to experience the learning. We can choose to turn negative scenarios, where our initial expectations are left unmet, into an experience which creates a positive outcome, even if we can’t see it at the time.
“People with the greatest advice usually have the most problems” — Anon
3. Problems are a great excuse to work with others.
Problem solving is something we do not have to go through alone, think of it as a team sport! Ask for help.
“I can’t promise to fix all your problems but I promise you won’t have to face them alone” — Anon
Friends, family and colleagues are a great source of advice or support when we face a problem. However, during the times when it feels hard to speak to people we know about the difficulty we are facing there are so many other options available to us. Social or networking groups can be found for just about anything these days. In the working world we can access these via professional bodies and associations and personally through charities and community groups. These are invaluable sources for the occasions when we need to reach out to others in our own position, brought together by common business, health or lifestyle challenges. Our digitally-enabled world offers us wide opportunities to join online forums and community groups as an alternative way of asking for help. There are Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media channels available allowing interaction 24/7 if required.
4. Tackling problems help us to build resilience.
A big part of tackling a problem is changing our mindset. Simple acceptance that the world and indeed our own day is full of problems can be half the battle.
“The problem is not having problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking the problem is having problems” — Theodore Isaac Rubin
“There is always something you can do about any problem; even it if is just changing your perspective on how you feel about the problem” — David DeNotaris
Problems are all around us. When we accept that we face problems on a daily basis and acknowledge the learning we gain from them, we have a greater ability to cope with what is around the corner. It is part of building our personal resilience and resilience in our businesses.
5. You can make a career out of solving problems.
I am yet to undertake a job role that has been done by anyone else in the organisations I have worked. I have therefore been fortunate to have the scope to assess what is needed, identify associated problems and hurdles as they arise and most importantly bring the best teams together to overcome them. For the last 15 years I have shared this expertise wider, leading and collaborating with teams to create infrastructure, partnerships and projects to face challenges, needs and problems.
“In a day if you don’t come across any problems you are probably travelling the wrong way” — Swami Vivekananda
“Problems are like washing machines they twist us, spin us and knock us around… but in the end we come out cleaner, brighter and better than before” — Anon