Now that you have defined the problem, it’s time to develop a solution
By now you should have explored the following: a universal problem statement, a corporate strategy, any new strategic challenges, operational pressures and distribution- specific challenges. You now have a great perspective of the macro goals and issues facing the company, as well as department- specific issues. You have defined the issues that pertain to distribution and you can view everything in the context of the company’s strategic initiatives. It’s now time to innovate solutions – solutions that bridge the gap between operational reality and strategic intent.
Your goal here is to get as close as possible to solving all the problems you’ve identified. Gather a team of content experts.This option is often overlooked or skipped because the assumption is it’s your job to figure this out on your own. But, the truth is, it’s your job to manage the process of figuring this out.
Assemble a Team of Experts
What do we mean by content experts? Content experts can include internal experts, like product managers, engineers and finance people, but it can and should include external people, such as consultants, distribution experts, transportation experts, package engineers and LEED building experts. The idea here is to get a wide group of expertise represented at the table and to avoid a myopic view. Sure, you’re in distribution, but why not have an environmental impact expert at the table? Or why not include your local zoning expert?
Once you’ve gathered your team of experts it’s time to brainstorm solutions. We won’t cover the brainstorming or ideation process in this document because there are a lot of resources out there to help you with that. We would like to point out that the innovation process is iterative and focusing on functionality is useful. You will most likely come up with ideas, develop them, redefine them, test them and further develop and refine them. It’s rare to solve a problem perfectly out of the gate. But, by using your universal problem statement as your guide and leveraging a team of content experts, you can arrive at a powerful solution.
Next week: The Problem Solving Dilemma