How can you change the game? Don’t solve problems. Create them. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi conducted an experiment in which he got two groups of people to draw something. One group was solving a problem. The other group was finding a problem. The solution finders were the logical, rational, analytical thinkers. They were aiming to reduce complexity, simplifying it as far as possible just to get the task done. The ones finding a problem were the more creative artists, they challenged the status quo, worked on the problem longer. They found a bigger problem to solve and the results were obvious. Their art was superior. The world changers don’t look at things as they are but envision things the way they should be. To do so they go beyond solving problems that exist but think of problems that are not even there. They are the trouble makers. Was the iPad solving a problem? Or did it create one? Did we really need a couch surfing device? Probably not. But Steve Jobs created the problem and then solved it beautifully. Anyone aspiring to change the game needs to go beyond the obvious. They need to be a trouble maker.
This has implications on pretty much everything. In a world where information is abundantly available you don’t need to have all the right answers but you need to able to ask the right questions. In essence, the goal of finding new problems is to unlock new opportunities. So whatever your business, whoever you work with, you goal should be to focus on finding the right problems to solve. Everything else would be an eventuality. Failure to do so would mean all the effort has gone in to solve the wrong problems leading to mundane and ordinary outcomes. And the world has enough of that!