5 Key Tips to Keep You from Drowning While Inventing the Lifeboat

Have you heard this one before? “Well, there must be a simple solution”.

Some intrepid inventor usually says that, right before embarking on building said solution. But soon, he realizes there are a couple of small questions to be explored before solving the problem. Perhaps there’s a stakeholder who would like to “tack on” an additional question – or press a personal agenda. Then the inventor’s questions uncover an underlying issue or two. And there are root causes for those issues, as well. Pretty soon, he’s surrounded by ocean, with no land in sight. What can he do? Here are five tips that may help guide you past the rocky shoals.

  1. Adapt objectives – in the course of seeking a solution, the inventor may find there is something more pressing that can be resolved, with less effort but greater impact.
  2. Abandon perfection – there will never be a perfect answer to every question. Each piece of new information has the potential to throw the project for a loop. Set a reasonable time and scope limit on the investigation phase, and then stop trying to perfect it beyond that point.
  3. Assess significance – if feedback or input doesn’t have direct bearing on building the lifeboat, tie it to a mooring for the time being. It can always be addressed as part of the next project.
  4. Adopt solutions – while it’s true that the easiest solution isn’t always the right one, any ideas with potential should be considered. A motor might move the lifeboat faster than oars will, but oars may turn out to be more manageable for manoeuvring in tight spaces.
  5. Accept success – once a solution has been adopted, be confident that it is the right one for now – refinements are always possible once the lifeboat has been launched.

Helping you keep your head above water,

Megann and Steve

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About PANOPTIKA

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