“Fall in love with the problem” is a quote from the excellent book by Ann Mae Chang, Lean Impact.
The issue she is getting at is that so many people see a problem in the world and then come up with a solution to that problem that they fall in love with. Many people come to me with a solution to a problem they have observed and they want to start a new nonprofit that is built around this solution.
However, they are so IN LOVE with their SOLUTION that they have not even tested it to see if it WORKS! This happens with products in the business world and programs in the nonprofit world.
And they often put on blinders that preclude them from “seeing” evidence that maybe this is not such a great solution.
Once we set our Mission, the next thing we want to do is to establish our Theory of Change – how we want to address the mission issue. This is where we articulate our solution to the problem that our mission is focused on. It is a theory that needs to be tested.
If we focus on the problem and on collecting data on how well our proposed theory/solution does that, then we are on track to make a real difference. We should never be satisfied with the results of our tests until we are solving the problem 100%. That will give us mindset of continuous improvement.
Are you in love with a solution – a program or product? Change your focus to the problem. Fall in love with the idea of solving that problem instead. Then you can start making continuous progress toward fully solving it.