A Wrinkle in Time: A Shift in How We View Problem and Solution Approaches

“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”
― Andy Warhol, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol

Time is precious—in life, in learning, in work. It always seems like we are running out of this precious resource on a daily basis, and this feeling drives how we make decisions throughout the day. We try to make our “to do list” fit into the time we perceive ourselves to have. What if, though, we didn’t shift things around to fit time limits but instead shifted time around to fit our needs? Not possible, some may say, due to the finality of time. There are, after all, only 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour and so on.

What if we viewed time differently? Let’s imagine for a minute that changes have been made already, but outcomes have been minimally affected. Whether it’s a small business, large corporate office or any other organization where human capital is at the core, and the data is just not reflecting those changes. Looking at how time is structured and implemented could be the next step.

There are many organizations already, where time is not in a set and structured model. However, there are just a many (if not more) that are still using a 20th century time management model. The squeeze on employees to “maximize output” by micromanaging down to the minute is a suffocating approach to employees and their productivity.

A shift in how time can be utilized is something to think about. More flexible work environments, training opportunities and non-traditional time structuring could be the missing piece to the puzzle of improved outcomes. What once was, does not always have to be.

Related Article: Using Design Thinking to Embed Learning in Our Jobs

Design Thinking Process
By using a Design Thinking Process approach to problem solving, your organization could build better and more innovative training that offers experience design instead of instructional design. But what exactly is a Design Thinking approach?

Design Thinking is a five-step approach to problem solving that focuses on the human element in the equation of solving business problems. Design Thinking allows for a more customized experience for the employee, and also empowers the employer to create more meaningful solutions and relevant learning opportunities. Rethinking learning experiences, how to utilize time and involving your people are all part of the Design Thinking approach. The five steps include: Empathizing, Defining, Ideating, Prototyping, and Testing. With each of these steps, businesses make the choice to innovate in their problem identification and solution building.

In the Empathizing stage, when data collection is occuring, taking the time to interview employees and listen to their perspective can lead to inclusive team work in identifying and solving issues. Understanding who your people are, what makes them tick and what prevents them from reaching their potential can be very powerful in innovative solution design.

Defining the problem after data collection helps to determine how to actually solve the problem. This can be motivating for the team, cultivate creative thinking and ideas in an efficient and resourceful timeline.

The Ideating step opens up the possibilities of solution. Using the momentum from the defining stage and pushing creative and innovative thinking, procures real ideas and in-depth examination of “out of the box” thinking.  It’s the time to match the solution to the problem, and if needed, create a completely new option.

In the Prototype and Testing stage, model design of new solutions and testing with employees for feedback are the last steps. Knowing if new ideas will really work and solve the problems, and then tweaking as needed after receiving feedback finalizes the Design Thinking Process.

New Thinking Leads to New Answers
Any time humans can be the central focus in creating solutions, there is unlimited potential to find answers and quite possibly change the direction of the world at large. We have been witness to monumental changes that came out of a problem and solution partnership, with innovative thinking and imaginative implementation in the last 25 years. Staying on the cutting edge of development, learning, and training is one key feature in leading change.

If change is on the horizon for your business, new ways to think about intangible resources like time might lead to some new approaches, and possibly more creative and effective solutions.

At CuroGens, we offer multiple creative solutions to assist with change facilitation at the business level. To find out more, download the CuroGens Learning Academy fact sheet or contact us at learnmore@curogens.com.