A friend of mine once told me how she had been feeling really tired for months. After seeing her doctor she was diagnosed with iron deficiency and given an injection. Just like that, her problem was fixed. She felt a million bucks.
Upon hearing this story, another friend realized she too was experiencing those same symptoms and went to her doctor. To her relief, she too was diagnosed with low iron… I say to her relief because she knew that there was an easy fix to her problem – an iron injection. But to her surprise, her doctor refused to give her the shot. He insisted they figure out the root cause of her low iron levels.
A scan and some tests later, it was uncovered that my friend had numerous cysts on her ovaries which caused her anemia. The true fix was to undergo surgery and remove the cysts. An iron injection would have been a band-aid solution, literally… and would only cover up the symptoms while allowing the real problem to carry on.
Why am I telling you this story?
Because diagnosing and fixing problems is a bit like being a doctor; a quick-fix-hero-doctor vs. a thorough-diagnostician-doctor…
‘Solutioneering’ is not heroic, it’s ineffective
Solutioneering is the act of creating a solution before understanding the actual cause of the problem.
But fixing something that we don’t understand can lead to many undesirable outcomes; we could fail to fix the problem fully, prolonging the state of suffering. We could make the problem worse. We could mask the problem, allowing it to fester and come back with a vengeance when we least expect it. Or, we could (by chance) solve the problem, but with a solution that has far too many negative consequences and is less than ideal.
Getting to the root cause – instead of dealing with superficial symptoms – is a key characteristic of a confident problem-solver. It is having the wisdom to deal with the crux of the matter! Ask yourself…
Am I comfortable delving deeper into problems without jumping into solutions feet first? Am I a quick-fix-hero or a thorough diagnostician?
Identifying the root causes of problems is a key theme of our BBIT program. But don’t jump into registering just yet! Sit with your problem first, and read more about the Thinking Foundations course. If you’re confident that better problem-solving is a skill you need to learn, then, and only then, head on over to our registration page, or try the first module for FREE.
Mirta is a Director of ViAGO Limited, a behavioral science enthusiast, and a mum to three boisterous boys.