Thursday, May 7, 2015

How to Orgainze Ideas #3: Understand problems

Hi, it is Dr. NISHIO Hirokazu. this is my third entry on how to organize ideas. Previously, I explained about how to think and what to think. Today I'll explain a more detailed method, focusing on how to solve problems. I used this method at a workshop at the Kyoto University Summer Design School and I confirmed it works very well.

Assume you are looking for solutions to particular problems. You may concentrate on "how to solve them", but it is not a good practice. If you can not find solutions or you found them but they won't work well, the major reason is misunderstanding of problems. People tend to search the solutions before clarifying the problems. Focus on "what to solve" before focusing on "how to solve it".

To clarify what to solve, first, let me break down "what the problems are." The problems are gaps between the ideals and the realities. The ideals are in your mind, such as your dreams. The realities are outside of your mind, such as facts. The problems are gaps between them, so if you throw your dream away, the problems disappear.

I recommend following two questions to clarify what the problems are:

  • What are your ideals? (What is your dream? What do you think it should be?)
  • What are the realities? (What happens actually? What is the fact in the situation?)
After then you are ready to think about solutions:
  • How to fill the gaps? (How to solve the problems?)

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