22 August 2016

How do you solve a big problem?

Whilst taking time out in the mountains, I have been catching up on a few TED talks; one of which talked about problem solving and how it comes down to how to make toast.toast

Tom Wujec (below) asked a group of people to draw the process for how they make toast.

He discovered that the commonalities between everyone’s drawings were nodes and links – areas of information, or steps to the process, joined by linked actions or directions. These simple elements make the process easier. He also found that by drawing out the process, either on paper or cue cards, people were able to analyse and evaluate the process – and tackle the problem – better.

As a doodler myself, I wholeheartedly agree. Whenever there is an issue at UKFast, we take to the boardroom with the large whiteboard and markers and each draw an area of the issue until we can visualise a resolution. It works every time.

What fascinated me though was that everyone described making toast differently. Some made it in a pan, some in a toaster. Some drew the process as far back as growing the ingredients to make the bread, whilst some drew a three-step process.

We all see the world very differently and process information in our own way, but that doesn’t mean we can’t all reach the same end result.

In business this is incredibly true. No two business owners or entrepreneurs have the same story, journey or path. Whilst there may be similarities, everyone achieves their results differently – in their own way, in their own time.

Take a look at the talk below and next time you have an issue, ask yourself, how do you make toast?

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