How people solve problems.

How people solve problems.

30 seconds and a sketch on…problems.

I drew this sketch for a friend who works at a nonprofit, who like most of you, is struggling with how to solve a problem (in her case, falling donations).

But for all of the comparisons and examples of how others have done it, — “the 1 trick successful nonprofits do!” “18 ways to get more donations!” “89 things good nonprofits do before breakfast” — my friend, like you, really needs to start by understanding her customer’s actual problem.

There are geniuses who seem to know what we want before we do, frustrated peers who build for selfish reasons before selling to all, even those lucky few who were right for the moment, even if that moment has now passed, but collaborative organizations — the type of companies that are consistently solving problems and creating innovation — are starting with a deep understanding (read: empathy) of their customer’s needs.

Start solving problems by first understanding them — does your customer really have that problem or do you really want them to have that problem?

Then you can start innovating on purpose, instead of by accident.

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