Solving a business problem is very alike to trying to find the secret of life. Why? Because it all boils down to just one question.
You – like many of us – probably have had days when you are just so close to discovering the secret of life and world. You almost get a grasp of that one idea, which could solve everything, that one mystical secret you see just beyond the edge of your vision. You probably also have experienced a well reasoned and beautifully deducted chain of thought that you yourself, just milliseconds later, proved to be faulty straight from the initial hypothetical thought? At least we have.
Lets for example examine this thought pattern:
a) Why is the earth round?
b) Probably for the same reason all the other planets are round as well.
c) There has to be one force in effect that makes all planets the same shaped – a force that affects all the planets, no matter where they are in the universe.
d) Gravitational pull – that has to be it. All planets are affected by gravity, whether it is the gravitational pull of nearby planets or systems, stars or galaxies. Gravitational pull is still there in some form.
e) Ok, it has to be gravity.
f) But why the round, globe-like spherical form and not a cube, a flat circle or an ellipse?
g) Is a round shape the most natural shape in the world?
h) Could it be the shape everything – energy and mass – is trying to get towards to, a shape everything around us is trying to achieve?
i) Erosion makes things rounder and erosion is also all around us.
j) Is round shape the best shape?
k) Is round shape the shape we all end up to in the end?
l) Oh yeah, earth isn’t round. Dammit.
Unfortunately, often the initial faulty question doesn’t come to you that easily.
Trying to find the solutions to the age-old questions on the universe, life, health and the world is not just quite like, but exactly like, trying to find the answers to a business problem. There is only one way to get the irrefutable truth on what your customers need, is your strategy the correct one or is the product viable for launch. Exactly like there is only one way to find the correct solution to the secret of life, to whom you should marry or how serious the global warming threat really is. There is only one way, and unfortunately it is often very hard to see.
The results from any analysis depend on the hypothesis or the question being the correct one. If you ask the wrong question, you’re bound the get the wrong answer. No matter how brilliant the pattern of analysis and deduction is in-between.
It all boils down to just one question. The question better be the right one.