This quote does illustrate an important point: before jumping right into solving a problem, we should step back and invest time and effort to improve our understanding of it.

Here are 10 strategies you can use to see problems from many different perspectives and master what is the most important step in problem solving: clearly defining the problem in the first place!

Play freely with the problem statement, rewording it several times.

For a methodic approach, take single words and substitute variations. Try replacing ‘increase’ with ‘attract’, ‘develop’, ‘extend’, ‘repeat’ and see how your perception of the problem changes.

While such an assumption may seem true at first, try challenging it and maybe you’ll find some very interesting business models (such as one restaurant in which customers bring dish ideas for the chef to cook, for example).

Each problem is a small piece of a greater problem.

For example, if you own a business and are trying to ‘increase sales’, try to view this problem from the point of view of, say, a customer. Also, imagine how people in various roles would frame the problem. If the problem looks too dull for you, invest the time adding vigor to it while . One thing is ‘to create a personal development blog’, another completely different is to ’empower readers to live fully’.

For example, from the customer’s viewpoint, this may be a matter of adding features to your product that one would be willing to pay more for. One trick that usually helps when you’re stuck with a problem is turning it on its head.

A rich vocabulary plays an important role here, so you may want to use a thesaurus or develop your vocabulary.

Every problem — no matter how apparently simple it may be — comes with a long list of assumptions attached.

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