Problem Solvers vs. Problem Finders

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The world today respects problem solvers – without question.  Intriguingly, however, many senior managers are now assigning even higher value to problem finders or problem identifiers.  In the current regime of big-data-what-question-would-you-like-to-ask, people who can identify insightful questions to ask may be providing higher value than those who find the ways to answer those questions.  It is argued – and I’d strongly agree – that identifying insightful new problems to address is often a harder task than  solving problems already identified. 

Interestingly, the Challenger sales model may have elements of this:  those sales/marketing/presales people who can pose intriguing and expected questions may be the people who can drive the most important changes.  Problem Finders are often unsatisfied with the status quo – they are unwilling to accept that things couldn’t be better.

Problem Finders are often operating at higher levels of thinking than Problem Solvers – they are concerned with Critical Business Issues.  Many Problems Solvers find they are dragged into the day-to-day morass of the mundane…

The best case?  Problem Finders who are also Problem Solvers – this is the essence of Silicon Valley and entrepreneurship…!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Peter Cohan
Have you ever seen a bad software demonstration? Peter Cohan is the founder and principal of Great Demo!, focused on helping software organizations improve the success rates of their demos. He authored Great Demo! - how to prepare and deliver surprisingly compelling software demonstrations. Peter has experience as an individual contributor, manager and senior management in marketing, sales, and business development. He has also been, and continues to be, a customer.

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