One obstacle with solving problems is when we can’t or won’t see the problem aka “problem blindness”. Problem blindness’s most common form is when something is so frequent that it is seen as normal, even acceptable. The “It’s inevitable” frame of mind frequently gives up without even a fight, often without even a deep analysis. Errors, defects, delays are considered part of life to be accepted.
And yet… while perfection may be unobtainable in this mortal vale, in the pursuit of perfection we often arrive at excellence. Always assume some degree of progress is possible.
When attempting to advance, when trying to improve systems, some of my favorite questions when confronting even the most intractable problems are “What would it take cut this metric in half? How could we shave just 2 or 3% a month off this number?”
Every sub-optimal outcome is a problem waiting to be solved, every problem can be impacted at some level. Never be blind to possibility.
“There are none so blind as those who will not see.” – Proverb
“When we don’t see a problem, we can’t solve it.” – Upstream, Solving Problems Before They Occur
“The escape from problem blindness begins with the shock of awareness that you’ve come to treat the abnormal as normal…The seed of improvement is dissatisfaction.” – Dan Heath
“When we’re blind to a problem, we treat it like the weather. We know it’s bad, but we just shrug our shoulders. ‘What am I supposed to do about it? It’s the weather.’ Problem blindness creates passivity.” – David Davidoff
As always, I share what I most want and need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier