Credit: Matt Groening
When considering proven problem solving approaches, the scientific method provides a great foundation:
Define the problem,
Hypothesize potential solutions,
Identify and evaluate potential solutions (i.e. test hypothesis),
Select best solution(s) or...revisit earlier steps and repeat...
Importantly, the scientific method encourages problem solvers to revise possible solutions as they obtain relevant learning and experience. This is where I feel there is an opportunity for an enhanced problem solving approach that would combine the "hands-on" learning gathering and synthesizing strengths of technology scouts with the extensive reach of highly networked technology intermediaries. As a technology scout, my client's brief helps me to understand their challenge and also informs my search plan. I know from experience that my learning accelerates once I actually begin to contact and speak with leads. Very often, this "hands on" learning prompts a course shift to emphasize certain lead areas and de-emphasize others. I am able to insightfully apply this information to help inform and guide my search effort. Technology intermediaries work with their clients to help them define a problem statement as a precursor to broadcasting it to their extensive solver network. While these intermediaries report an impressive success rate in generating worthy solutions, I suggest they could do even better. Specifically, I believe that better search outcomes could be achieved by incorporating the learning obtained from a scout-led problem solving effort before issuing a request for proposals. This should result in a more actionable soution set. At minimum, it would provide a preliminary outlook regarding the success prospects of a networked effort. Would you like to run an experiment?