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Problem seeking, not problem solving

From Brian Collins’s interview with Debbie Millman on Design Matters:

We tend to latch on to these simple bromides and clichés that fix our imagination.

“We’re problem solvers!” Really? My problem solver is like, the plumber, or my roof needs to be fixed. I think what it does, to use a term by Ralph Caplan, is it turns us into ‘exotic menials’, which means we only get a call when there’s a problem.

There are so many things that are going to be problems and need to be anticipated. If you’re going to be future facing, you can’t wait for a problem because by the time the problem shows up, it’s too late.

So problem seeking means you’ve got to go out and be on your front foot, and look, and be self-propelled. Look for answering problems and answering questions that people don’t know how to ask.

Problem solving is not only inaccurate, but damaging. Seeking, is what we should be doing.

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