Financial problem? We need an accountant.
Data storage problem? Buy some network attached storage.
Brand differentiation problem? Call a brand expert.

This may seem obvious, but it can also be symptom-fixing. In not looking at a problem deeply enough, we miss identifying and addressing the real underlying issues – the real opportunities for innovation.

In a similar way, we are also often quick to categorise a person or a new tool in simplistic terms. A teacher, a dentist, a taxi driver – these functional descriptors stop us delving deeper into the core skills these people may have. A web site is a website, unless we look beyond the simple label and realise it is also a workflow tool, a communicator, a place to store recipes.

The process of understanding may be as follows:


I doodled the Two Diamonds approach below as a way to illustrate how looking deeper into a problem can be a better way to determine the fit between it and its potential solution. The approach combines a sequential mix of divergent thinking and focusing decisions.


What do you think?