Changing my “point of view” is probably the single most effective technique I utilize when problem solving. In this context, I’m using “point of view” (POV) literally, meaning the position from which we observe something.
If our POV is static, we’re stuck looking at the problem from the same perspective. Once we shift our position, we start seeing things differently. By looking at the problem from multiple angles, we're able unlock a new understanding of what we’re trying to solve.
I put this idea into practice in a variety of ways, including:
- Creating whiteboard drawings or diagrams to help visualize the problem
- Moving to the other side of the room during a meeting
- Imagining how others (customers, coworkers, competitors) see the problem
- Zooming in to focus on one small aspect of the problem
- Zooming out to see the larger context
As soon as a problem starts to feel unsolvable, I remind myself of the need to look at it from a different perspective. With a new point of view comes new insight and – more often than not – a solution.