Before you make any decision, before you solve any problem –
- What do you need to know, to more clearly understand the problem?
- Does what you know point to the symptom of the problem, or point to the cause the problem?
- If you gave the cause of the problem a name, what would be its name?
- What else do you need to know, to more clearly understand the cause of this problem you named?
- Do you know enough about the cause of the problem to generate a plausible solution, or do you need to know more?
- How would you explain the cause of the problem to someone else?
- If you were someone else, how would you understand the cause of the problem differently?
- If you were someone else, what other alternatives would you suggest?
- As you consider these alternatives, could some be combined? Could you take the front end of one idea and patch it to the back end of another?
- What would happen if you ran an alternative backward or upside-down?
Sometimes, solving a problem has more to do with questions than answers.