Reframe, Realign, Grow

Reframe, Realign, Grow

Solving the right problems means asking the right questions.

The advent of the Lean Startup movement ushered in a environment in which failure became a badge of honour—a necessary step on the path to innovation. This ethos encouraged a culture of action over contemplation, often at the expense of thorough research and reflection.

At Faculty of Change, we advocate for a return to a foundational step often overlooked in the rush to action: problem framing. It’s the critical starting point that shapes the trajectory of your solutions.

Problem framing can be completed in an hour or take a week, but it is key to ensuring your teams are spending their time in ways that will help your business. So, what exactly does problem framing entail?

The journey begins with a fundamental question: What problem are we actually trying to solve?

Broaden your perspective, and consider various facets of the issue at hand. At this early step, many fall into the same trap: viewing problems through a narrow, business-centric lens—focusing on measurable objectives like growing assets under management or increasing basket sizes. At Faculty of Change, we encourage a shift towards seeing problems from the customer’s viewpoint. How can you consolidate their investments, reduce their need to shop around, or meet more of their needs?

Diversity in problem framing is key. You can unveil invaluable insights by moving beyond the echo chamber of immediate leadership to include younger employees, frontline staff, and even those seemingly removed from the issue.

It’s crucial that you understand the boundaries within which your solutions will operate.

Your boundaries encompass must-have components, potential constraints, and tools that might be leveraged. To ensure that your solutions both resonate authentically with your values and leverage your existing strengths, integrate elements of your brand’s identity. 

While leveraging current capabilities is efficient, it’s important not to let them confine your thinking. Sometimes, the solution lies in developing new competencies.

You need to be specific about who is affected by the problem.

Your exploration must be expansive, encompassing not just current and potential customers, but also internal teams and partners.

Moving away from demographic stereotypes, we focus on attitudes, needs, and behaviours. When considering competitive landscapes, look beyond direct rivals to include adjacent sectors that might encroach on your territory.

The next step is to pinpoint exactly what you need to understand.

The scope of what you need to know could range from specific data points to broader market trends. The tools at your disposal—from loyalty program data to in-store interviews—can guide your research approach, ensuring it’s both feasible and insightful.

Armed with a comprehensive problem-framing canvas, you’ll face a clearer the path forward. With strong problem framing, you won’t be jumping into action: you’ll be making informed, strategic movement towards solutions that genuinely resonate with the needs and contexts they aim to address. The outcome? A reframed understanding of your challenges, opening doors to new markets and opportunities previously unseen.

For leaders in the fast-paced realms of retail, luxury, and financial services, the call to action is clear. Before diving into solutions, take a moment to step back, reframe, and ensure you’re solving the right problems.

If you need help, the Faculty of Change is here to guide you through the intricacies of problem framing, helping you to pave a path to meaningful, high-impact solutions. Just get in touch and let’s chat.


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