The Case For “Solutioning”
As an innovator, disruptor and creator of new things, I love coining and using new words which can more effectively describe something, and solutioning is one of them.
Be honest, when some people hear the word “innovation” all they think about is airy-fairy, pie-in-the-sky visions of a perfect world where everything goes right, with no connection to the world of today. Nothing could be further from the truth, but for some reason, these prejudices persist. For some, innovation is not something we are doing today, but something we may do tomorrow, and right now, we aren’t concerned with tomorrow – we just want to get through today.
Considering times are much better than they were, say, 10 years ago, this new attitude that “the sky may fall at any second so I need to keep my eye on the bottom line more than ever”, is puzzling to me. In good times, (like now) you should have the luxury to look a bit further forward down the line, but for some reason, this roaring comeback is not like the others.
But I digress.
Innovation has rarely been about the far future, innovation has mostly been about solving the problems of today in new ways. A way to look at the current challenges which your organization is facing with new eyes and a new perspective. It’s a chance to get more and more diverse minds, perspectives and viewpoints on the issue: what is your biggest challenge, and how do we solve it? How do we move forward in this challenging environment? How do we increase revenues and profitability when new, leaner and agiler competitors start to siphon off our customers and prospects? How do we tighten up our operations to increase our profit margins and massively increase employee engagement? How do we enlist all levels of our organization, or even our customer and prospects, to solve our biggest problems? This is what innovation is.
But if the term itself is a problem, that’s not a problem – let’s just call it something else.
Recently, I’ve been using a term from the past (at least some tell me that it reminds them of an outmoded term that old line IT companies used to use) which I find completely applicable, and more true to the real act of what is going on.
When we are all in a room, or in a virtual room, attempting to address this thorny issue or that, combining the brainpower of your stellar team and our unique facilitation process, we are solutioning. We are actively applying the tenets of innovation (facilitation, ideation, and problem-solving) to developing innovative solutions for your challenges of today, not tomorrow.
When you bring in fresh minds of all kinds into the process, the results are massively effective. So should we dispose of the term “innovation” – it’s served us well all of these years, and talk about the results of the work – effective and real solutions to your day-to-day tactical challenges?
Should we call what we are doing what it actually is: solutioning?