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  • Writer's pictureAdil Malia

Context Sensitive Solutions

Design Thinking is critical . However, beyond the theory, designing a sustainable solution is the most critical path of Design Thinking.

You cannot solve all your problems with one set of solutions. Solutions have to be designed to match the problems. No one key can open all locks. One size 'fit all' is an easy though grossly ineffective, and certainly not a sustainable solution.

Solution Designing is about the process of creating a detailed blueprint or a navigation plan for the implementation of a specific solution to a clearly defined problem or challenge.

You have to first get deep insights of the problem and then carefully analyze the requirements and constraints the problem has at hand. Why is the problem, a problem, in the given context ?

Thereafter, the team facing the problem or impacted by the solution has to come together to design an effective solution that addresses the problem.

The concept of 'Contextual Design' holds that the design team members must go into the field or the actual site of the problem , talk to the real performers and make their observations in the natural work/ life environment. Thus making the solution, Context Sensitive.

A few situations that need to be clearly avoided...

1. Never design a solution and then going on a 'recee' searching for the problem. If you have a hammer, everything becomes a nail !

2. Never rush to solve the problem without having deep insights or understanding all the factors leading to causation of the problem. Surface tarring is short-lived.

3. Never try to solve the problem without engaging & involving the team facing the problem or directly impacted by the solutions. A hands-off expert cannot solve a hands-on problem.

The world is replete with challenges. Sustainable solutions have to be facilitated. That is the very ask from effective leadership. Solutions are not found by twirling magical wands and uttering - 'Abracadabra' .

'Context Sensitive Solution Designing' is a critical competence of an effective leader. If the problem is in the 'Ward' of a hospital, do not sit in the air -conditioned corner office of the CEO.

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