If I had one hour to save the world, I would spend the first 55 minutes defining the problem. â€“ Albert Einstein
Think about it â€“ donâ€™t we often do the exact opposite in our daily work lives? How often do we spend the time planning that is necessary to REALLY get the job done â€“ and done well?I have a friend who is a reference librarian. The first thing he does when faced with a patronâ€™s question is to identify the root of the question â€“ what does the person REALLY need to know?
For example, someone asking for history books or resources may actually be looking for information about period costumes from the late 1800s! Clearly, not everyone is skilled at focusing in on communicating exactly what he or she needs to know. My friend is trained to ask pointed questions before moving forward with what could be a wild goose chase for an answer to the wrong question!
This post (reprinted with permission) originally ran on Fast Track Tools, a site that offers solutions to get you unstuck in your business, sales processes, and communication. (Be sure to visit the site for many insightful posts!)
Look around â€“ you are bound to see this happening all around you: people running after the answers to problems without stopping to identify the goal.
The following is a story that illustrates how important it is to understand your problem before you attempt to solve it.
Motorola has been reducing the size of their cell phones for years. Some of the first cell phones were the size of backpacks and now they weigh just a few ounces. Along the way, Motorolaâ€™s customers requested bigger buttons. That is a tough request when the goal is to make everything smaller.
Motorola did some research and learned this request was coming from a specific market: firefighters, rescue workers, construction workers, miners and the like. In most cases, this niche market needed to use a cell phone in low visibility conditions while wearing gloves. Ultimately the solution was to provide a phone that operated by squeezing the phone. The firefighters did not know this was possibleâ€”and neither did Motorolaâ€”when this request came in.
The firefighters thought they needed bigger buttons, but once Motorola understood what these customers were trying to accomplishâ€”using a cell phone in low visibility with gloves onâ€”it found a reasonable solution. Motorola developed a cell phone that could dial and communicate when the user squeezed the phone in different patterns similar to Morse Code.
There may be a difference between what you think you need and what you are trying to accomplish. That is why you need to plan out your desired destination before determining what you need to get there.
What are you doing to identify your goal?
Post originally posted on Fast Track Tools.
Don’t forget to read Hannah’s tips today about how to clean up your job search.
If your goal involves getting a job, I have good news! Have you missed the posts from earlier this week? My friend and colleague, Hannah Morgan (@careersherpa) and I have created a guide to job search like you have never seen!
It’s our new eBook, You Need a Job, 5 Steps to Get One. It is an end-to-end explanation of how to get a job: 29 chapters outlining the five things you need to do to succeed in every step of your job hunt. The book will help you figure out your goals as well as what to do once you know your job search direction.
When you are among the first to buy a copy, youâ€™ll also get some extra special bonusesâ€¦
Update: the eBook is available. If you want to learn how to find a job, learn more here. Don’s miss special bonuses for people who are the first to buy our eBook.
Remember: nothing happens until you take action, and we are guaranteeing that you will learn important tips from our book. Stay tuned!
photo by dnwallace