Are your lights on?
A Problem is a difference between things as desired and things as perceived.
Perception: The kids are too noisy. Desire: Quiet children.
Phantom problems are read problems.
Don't bother trying to solve problems for people who don't have a sense of humor.
> What is the problem?
Don't take their solution method for a problem definition.
If you solve their problem too readily, they'll never believe you've solved their real problem.
You can never be sure you have a correct definition, even after the problem is solved.
Don't leap to conclusions, but don't ignore your first impression.
You can never be sure you have a correct definition, but don't ever stop trying to get one.
> What is the problem really?
Each solution is the source of the next problem.
The trickiest part of certain problems is just recognizing their existence.
If you can't think of at least three things that might be wrong with your understanding of the problem, you don't understand the problem.
Test you definition on a foreign, someone blind, or a child, or make yourself foreign, blind, or childlike.
Each new point of view will produce a new misfit.
How could we change the problem statement to make the solution different?
Once you have a problem statement in words, play with the words until the statement is in everyones head.
> Whose problem is it?
Don't solve other peoples problems when they can solve them perfectly well themselves.
If it's their problem, make it their problem.
If a person is in a prosition to do something about a problem, but doesn't have the problem, then do something so he does.
Try blaming yourself for a change - even for a moment.
> Where does the problem come from?
The source of the problem is most often within you!!!
In the valley of the problem solvers, the problem creator is king, or president, or dean.
> Do we really want to solve it?
Do unto others as others have done unto you.
In spite of appearances, people seldom know what they want until you give them what they ask for.
Not too many people, in the final analysis, really want their problems solved.
Do I really want a solution?
We never have enough time to do it right, but we always have enough time to do it over.
We never have enough time to consider wheter we want it, but we always have enough time to regret it.
The fish is alaways the last to see the water.
“I don’t know who discovered water,
but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a fish.”