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Problem Solving & Innovation

Navigating the business growth landscape and sustainability often hinges on two critical processes: problem-solving and innovation.

While both are essential to organisational success, they serve distinct roles and employ different methodologies to achieve their objectives. Problem-solving identifies, analyses, and addresses immediate challenges within existing frameworks, seeking efficient solutions to overcome hurdles.

On the other hand, innovation transcends traditional problem-solving by pushing the boundaries of current thinking to create new values, processes, or products that fundamentally change the game. This page explores the nuanced differences between problem-solving and innovation, shedding light on how each contributes uniquely to a business’s evolution and success.

By understanding these differences, organisations can better strategise their approach to not only fix current issues but also to pioneer future opportunities, securing a competitive edge in their industry.

A group of people looking at sticky notes on a wall while they try to solve a complex problem.

What is the difference?

Problem-solving and innovation are two related but distinct activities.

While both involve finding solutions to challenges, the two have several key differences. Each brings a unique set of skills with differing goals, focus and methodology. While problem-solving works to fix current issues, innovation strives to blaze new trails and shake up the status quo. Problem-solving relies on careful analysis and step-by-step solutions, while radical innovation often requires daring experimentation and risk-taking.

Understanding the difference between these two vital processes is essential to run a business successfully. Don’t let them confuse you!

 

Problem solving illustration

Problem Solving

The art of problem-solving requires a skilled hand in identifying and tackling specific challenges head-on. It’s all about strategically responding to issues, with the end goal being a return to business as usual or, even better, eliminating the problem’s negative impact. Rather than overhauling everything, problem-solving focuses on targeted solutions that address the symptoms of a problem.

Problem-Solving Characteristics

1. Unanticipated variations between expected and realised performance have been observed. Careful assessment is necessary to determine the cause of this discrepancy.

2. The cause of the issue is unknown.

3. We care about fixing it.

innovation Illustration

Innovation

Innovation is about completely transforming the way things are done.

It’s a process that creates something new and brings value to the organisation. And while it can be disruptive, requiring significant investment in resources or new technology, it’s what drives progress and pushes boundaries. Innovation is the key to unlocking a better future for everyone.

Innovation Characteristics

1. Innovation is pushing the boundaries of existing performance to unprecedented heights.

2. With innovation comes risk – there’s no guarantee that the expected standards will be achieved, making it uncharted territory.

3.With calculated risks come great rewards and opportunities!

NEXT: 

Types of Innovation Strategies

A man is using a laptop with graphs on it. This abstract image depicts different types of innovation strategies.

Types of innovation strategies

Dive into the various types of innovation, from incremental to radical, and learn how they can drive your business forward by fostering growth and competitive advantage.

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