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Creative Thinking

The problem with ‘THE’ answer

May 12, 2011 — by Daryll Scott4

Typically, when confronted with an interesting problem, we think about it until we come up with THE answer.

What we have really done is think about it until we come up with AN answer, it’s just one possible answer, and then we stop thinking because we tell ourselves we have found THE answer.

What would happen if you thought until you had 3 answers?


  • Jeremy

    May 13, 2011 at 8:59 am

    If I thought until I had three answers I guess I’d no longer have a dilemma.

    And then I guess I’d have to learn how to make a decision.. :-)


    • Daryll Scott

      May 13, 2011 at 9:20 am

      How to make decisions – That’s next week’s blog…


  • Malc

    May 17, 2011 at 8:33 am

    I think that should read ” ‘A’ problem with “THE” surely?

    While one might consider the situation presented to be “the problem”, it is unlikely to be the only problem for that collection of components. In fact it may be the “least bad” situation.

    For example:
    – The problem with the internal combustion engine is that the engine makes a loud knocking sound and can get damaged over time”
    – The solution is to add lead to the petrol
    … we all know what heppened next.

    To quote the late Lee Hazelwood, “For every solution there’s a problem”.


    • Daryll Scott

      May 21, 2011 at 5:03 pm

      Nice Malc, you sound like Bateson – ‘the’ problem is just as deluded as ‘the’ answer.


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