StockSnap_7LXMC88RJPIn climbing, each person develops their own climbing style. Which means, even on the same problem, there is more than one way to reach the summit. For example, my husband relies on strength and pure determination to pull himself to the top. While I rely on fancy footwork and counter balance.

Try as we might, we are not usually successful when using the other’s climbing style. But, by approaching the challenge differently, we learn from one another.

Erik Wahl‘s book, Unthink: Rediscover your Creative Genius, is a call to revive our imagination and think differently. Truthfully, it is easier to either stick to the status quo than:

  1. Finding and identifing the problem.
  2. Thinking about the problem and possible solutions.
  3. Creating and implementing a solution to prove proof of concept.
  4. Generating buy-in for wider adoption and implementation.

I recently went through this process myself. I spent one ski season working at Deer Valley scheduling ski school. One of my responsibilities was figuring out how our instructor inventory was allocated across group lessons, private lessons and who was still available. When I arrived, this was a manual process (we used paper, pencil and calculators). When I left, I had created an interactive Excel worksheet.

There were several points along the way where I really felt like I had won:

  • When I saw that I had the ability to create the solution.
  • When I produced and shared the working Excel sheet.
  • When my full team was using the sheet with little to no guidance.

Our ability to find and point out problems is important. However, it is detrimental to ourselves and our team to get stuck here. The question is, do you have the courage and the tenacity to create a solution?

Describe a time when you created a better solution. What did it feel like?

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