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On ending up where we need to be


Why Words Matter Newsletter April 2021

Hello!


After working for years on many different projects, we realised that a big part of what we do is identifying and understanding problems. Issues bubbling under the surface that can’t just be solved with a new logo or CMS. Problems everyone knows are there, but no one quite knows how to define and tackle.


A problem can feel overwhelming at first glance, and the unknown journey from inquiry to solution can be intimidating. Yet once we get a great grasp of what we’re trying to fix, it’s easier to know we’re on the right path - or at least not entirely the wrong one. And the passage to solving it may take us to surprising places.


Of course, it takes time, energy and attention to truly understand and follow the scent of a problem - things we know aren’t exactly in abundance in business. But if we can stay curious and leave our biases and assumptions at the door, we may open ourselves up to new possibilities.


Not to mention that sometimes in life there are advantages to not knowing where we’re going.


As the universe’s favourite holistic detective, Dirk Gently said, “I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”


1. Fixing the wrong problem

Adrian Ortega, 2 minute read

How many times have you leapt into solving a problem only to find yourself in the same position? A brief thought piece to remind us that before trying to fix something, we need to make sure we’re focusing on the right thing.



2. 10 ways to frame (and reframe) problems effectively

Lillian Xiao, UX Planet, 4 minute read

“To do things differently, we need to think differently”, says Xiao as she introduces 10 techniques to help us look at issues through different lenses. From framing a problem at different magnitudes to mapping it as a pattern, Xiao encourages us to ask better questions before jumping into finding solutions.



3. Seth Godin: Learning to take risks, be generous, and make a ruckus

The Design Better Podcast

If you've listened to this podcast before, you'll know their motto: “if interesting problems could be solved using existing methods, they'd already be solved”. In this episode, Seth Godin speaks about how you can learn to take risks, why writing helps you commit to an idea, and what it means to move something forward in your organisation.



4. The Scrappy Manifesto

The Do Lectures, 2 minute read

This fun piece is a timely declaration that we're only ever one idea away from changing everything. We just need to see barriers as a gift that will make us think differently, and worry about a lack of ideas rather than money.



5. Asking questions. 5 key questions for solving complex problems

Charles Leon, 4 minute read

Structured as a 5-step guide and jam-packed with examples, this article sheds light on the different types of questions to ask when problem solving and the process of moving from getting the best understanding possible to reaching your goal.


That’s all for now! Did you find anything interesting you’d like to share or chat about? Just reply to this email and let us know!


Stay safe,

Nia and Adrián

Tidy Content


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