The problem is never the problem, the solution is the problem

Written by: Jordan Tinney

Published On: December 1st 2011

I believe that this quote actually may have come from Tom Peters. No matter from where it came, it certainly has been my experience that this is true. Very often, when faced with an issue, we focus on the solution without anticipating what the likely outcome to the solution will be. In the end, without careful thought, today’s solution can simply be tomorrow’s problem.

We often see people rush to a solution with little regard for the consequences. In some cases, we end up dealing with the unintended consequences of other people’s decisions. Very likely, a short bit of time spent considering what the likely fallout of any particular solution to a problem may be is time well spent. Trusting your gut. Anticipating a few likely responses to a solution can well place you to make the right call.

As a school principal, when I had a difficult call to make, I would often simply stop a few staff members at lunch and ask them what their response would be to one possible solution I was considering. Their feedback very often either gave me insight into things I had not considered, or simply reaffirmed that I was at least predicting the outcome well.

Trust the people around you, ask their opinion, treat it with respect. You really can’t go that wrong with simply taking a bit of time and asking. That way, you can at least guard against your quick solution being only a step to the next problem.