#27 2010, Move it up a level…
Move it up a level…the view is better!
As we try to figure our way out of this economic crisis, I have become increasingly interested on how we actually solve problems. What are the unique steps we take to get to the answer?
Albert Einstein (1879–1955) is widely regarded as one of the most influential problem solvers of all time. He once said that you can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking you used to create them.
You have to remove yourself from the situation before you can get a true perspective of it. Often, a solution cannot be reached if you continue to look at it from the same perspective, and the results will be disappointing until you move to a higher plain. Be sure to look at the big picture and to read the whole story. Moving up a level enables you to see where the road is leading and where it is not!
It’s kind of like learning how to drive a car. I am sure you remember those first few terrifying moments behind the wheel of the family station wagon, staring at the road a foot ahead of the car. Quickly, your dad told you to look farther down the road or risk running over something. (In my case, it was my brother’s shiny, very new, blue bicycle!)
If you focus on the immediate problem and don’t look down the road, you will miss the answer. Successful decision making is selecting a course of action among several alternatives, such as:
- Weighing the advantages and disadvantages of each option.
- Seeking the opinion of an expert. (We usually like authors!)
- Flipping a coin, asking an astrologer, OR…
- Moving the problem up a level and taking a wider view.
So, if you are wrestling with a tough decision, personal or work related, take a long look down the road and then revisit the problem. What will the same issue look like in two weeks? In two months? In two years? Dollars to donuts, you’ll see where you need to go and what you need to do to get there.
It’s all about looking farther down the road.
kpope @ alliancelibrarysystem.com #27 August/2010