Are you a problem or a solution person?

Published by Neil
On 02-Feb-21
image credits:stockvault

“We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.” - Albert Einstein

Someone once said there are two types of people: engineers and everyone else.

What that implies to me is that some people see only problems (or do not even notice them) and others seek to solve those problems.

I was a little irritated by a shed-fitter this week when all he did was identify problems, when I (as the client) had paid for a service, i.e. to provide a solution to the fact that I did not have the time (or inclination) to build it myself.

Today I spoke to a senior air force friend who told me that the military are drilled to focus on their “mission”, i.e. what the “client” really wants. A “solution” then is how to achieve that mission (whatever that entails).

In my consultancy days as a “solutions architect”, I always tried to ask my clients “what are your organisation’s pain-points?” or “what keeps you awake?” (excuse the cliches). The root problem or sub-optimality is what a client really wants addressed – their desired outcome. What the solution to that is can vary. The client may have some ideas (e.g. changing the IT manager) but the solution that really delivers the outcome may actually be completely different.

We place many “Solutions Architects” and “Security Solutions Architects” as clients need “something” engineered to address a need/risk identified. This could involve a combination of systems, data, processes, people, services etc. Ensuring they all work together to “fulfil the mission” is critical here. By definition, it means knowing a fair bit about a whole range of areas and disciplines. An interesting role as no two situations are exactly the same.
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