I read a post “See differently, to solve differently” by Mike Shipulski. He argues that innovation is all about solving problems (new/old) in different ways (new/old). There is great potential in solving new problems in new ways. He also argues that in order to solve new problems, we need to identify the new problems and one way of doing that is to look at the problem in new ways.
Systems are large and complicated, and problems know how to hide in the nooks and crannies. In a Where’s Waldo way, the nugget of the problem buries itself in complication and misuses all the moving parts as distraction. Problems use complication as a cloaking mechanism so they are not seen as problems, but as symptoms.
Finding new problems:
He goes on to explain some of the ways that we could look at the same problem from a different lens. You can read the entire post here to find out his approach to looking at the problems differently.
Solving in new ways:
Once we have identified the problems to solve, we need creative ideas to solve them. In order to do this, I think there is great value in looking and learning from designers about how they not only view the problem but also their approach to solve the problem identified. One of the most sought after designers is Oki Sato, chief designer and founder of the design firm Nendo. He shared his approach in a talk that he delivered at an event. I recommend that you listen to the entire talk here.
In the talk he shares his approach of designing stuff, which I think is interesting and very different from how a lot of us approach solving problems. One of the things that is very clear is that the way we see things around us has a significant impact on how we solve problems.
Combining new ways to look at our problems and new ways to use to come up with ideas gives us potentially interesting solutions that are both creative and different.