Cliff Ravenscraft, the Podcast Answer Man talked on his show about something he called Problem, Moment, Solution: a device that we often use when communicating or telling stories. Unfortunately I can’t locate the specific episode where he talked it. If you know what I’m referring to then please get in touch.
How it works:
You start with a problem. Something has gone wrong. Or things have spiralled. You feel powerless or uninspired to do anything. But then something happens and you see the bigger picture. You have a moment where you realise that change is possible. There is a certain amount of struggle, before eventually a solution is found and resolution takes place.
Problem, Moment, Solution is not just a story narrative
This is how a lot of stories play out isn’t it? And it’s a classic device in non-fiction too. It is a tried and tested sales technique and business narrative. I saw a problem, I had an ‘a-ha’ moment, and then came up with a solution…which incidentally, you can now buy.
There is an important observation in this. It’s not just a narrative device to make things simpler and more marketable. It is more than that. We encounter it in our day to day lives. There are problems all around us, but often we are happy to acknoweldge that and just stop there. We don’t seek those moments. We don’t stop still long enough to feel a wave of clarity wash into our mind.
We are happy to blame others for what makes things bad, but don’t want to stop around long enough to acknoweldge our responsibility in stepping up and into crafting a solution.
This is what reluctant leaders do. They follow through the entire circle from the Problem, into the Moment, and then out with a Solution. It’s not enough to simply see the problem and blame others for it.
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