I found a neat blog posting today from Open Source Innovation entitled Let's Put Open Source to the Test. The blogger, a self proclaimed creative thinking problem solver, is offering his/her skills and those of his/her frequent readers to come up with creative resolutions to a specific business problem.
If you are having a problem in your business, organization, group, whatever, writing it down in the text box. First try writing it free form in a paragraph, discussing as much of it as you want. When you're done, summarize it in one 7-9 word. It should begin with 'H2′ (how to) or 'HMW' (how might we).
I will respond with some questions aimed at refocusing and rethinking the original problem statement. The goal will be to shift perspective and look for opportunities. When we're done, we'll open it up to the blogosphere to gain more/better perspectives. My role will be facilitator, guiding the session. Your role is that of the client, who owns the problem. The online community will provide the brainpower. The goal will be to generate a wide variety of problem restatements. You as client can then sift through them and determine which are worth pursuing further.
I like the idea. Throwing a problem or business challenge out to the universe and seeing what solutions fresh eyes and uninvolved people can offer.
In my monthly boardroom group of business owners, our group leader, Norma Rist, leads us through a similar exercise. It's called the challenge sheet. We write a brief statement that describes the challenge and then put it to the group.
The first step is for everyone around the table to ask clarifying questions. No solutions may be offered until all of the clarifying questions have been answered. Once that is complete and the challenge is thoroughly defined, the group then offers their solutions.
Open Source is offering the same opportunity with a much broader base of people to weigh in with their comments and solutions.
Here's where I have a problem.
Who is offering the help? Who is that man/woman behind the curtain?
In checking out Open Source I couldn't find out who was doing the writing. I understand safety on the web and not revealing too much, all though that has never seemed to stop me, but if you are going to offer help with a business problem or challenge I'm having, I would at least like to know your first name.
Question – do you have your name on your blog? Would you share a problem you are having with someone who hasn't shared their name? Or even their gender?
Deborah Chaddock Brown
Writer, Like to know who I'm talking to