Earlier in my career, I worked for a company that was the leader in the marketplace. Often when big questions or problems came up, there were no experts we could turn to. We were the industry experts.
So, where did we go to get answers? There was an internal go-to process. The team leader would spend time defining the problem and goal. They would gather a team of the most curious minds. Together the team would follow embark on a handful of steps that you would recognize as design-thinking.
I loved those teams and meetings. Together we would review the data and research, talk to consumers, and walk a mile (sometimes 50) in their shoes. We would empathize, brainstorm, problem-solve, prototype, and test. These teams gelled often, and they came back, again and again, to experiment and find solutions to new problems.
The team problem-solving approach worked. This kind, curious, sometimes overenthusiastic band of individuals came up with solutions, products, services, ideas, and experiences that no one of us could have devised on our own. Many of us involved loved the team meetings, and the feeling of excitement and accomplishment as the group moved ahead.
There are some problems in our industries and professions that are so big, so complex, so nuanced, or so new that no industry expert has the answer for all members. There are no maps, precedents, no best practices. The world is changing too fast for that. A speaker or panel won’t give them the answers. So, where might we help members find some solutions? Together. We can convene groups of members, help them craft good goals, and shepherd them through a problem-solving process. Members will discover so many more ideas together than any one of them would have found alone.