A simple truth is, that we constantly encounter problems and search for solutions.
A simple definition of a problem is “something we seek to change”.
A simple definition of a solution is “something has changed”.
Both are connected through the change implemented in the solution.
While such a definition may hold in a blog post, what’s relevant is it’s application to a specific situation.
Using the definitions it becomes evident that concrete descriptions are needed.
By knowing what “something” and “change” mean in that situation and for the persons involved the problem becomes evident and solutions available.
The way we do this is by collecting truths.
Truths are all the information describing the situation. Who is involved. What is experienced by those involved. What they are reacting to. What they seek to have or create. What options they see. What restrictions they are subject to in the given situation.
It’s by establishing a thoughtful collection of truths that the real problem can become visible. The work to be done consists of finding these truths and naming them as close to reality as can be.
It means to leave evaluations aside.
The things we believe, the interpretations we do, the cause and effects we perceive, they all describe evaluations we made. They are the very human reactions to reassure oneself by knowing the meaning of things. And that’s falling short of developing a solution. It’s implying a solution and searching for reassurance.
Our ability to describe and name truths and thus our ability to stick to the act of describing is opening the path to creating the change we seek to make.
It’s the same process Seth Godin is using to write a modern business plan. He subdivides the truths to be described in five categories. Truths (the world as is), Assertions, Alternatives, People, and Money. The closer to reality each of them are the clearer the way to go.