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May 1st, 2018
Is the best solution the one that solves as quick as possible?
Problems and solutions are often thought of in a rigid way, the way puzzle pieces fit. Only one piece fits into another.
For that sort of problem, yes, one solution exists. But that’s a simple problem.
Most problems are more complicated and might respond to a great variety of solutions. Which do we choose? Often the quickest and easiest. At least that’s how it seems at the beginning. Often those quick and easy solutions compound the problem, or spawn a new problem, or they are somehow incomplete. Inevitably this creates more work. The pattern is repeated, and a quick solution to the new version of the problem is applied. Bureaucracies are stellar at this snowball effect: creating largely unnecessary amounts of work over the long term by implementing short term solutions. (In essence this is the bad side of business, creating busy-ness in lieu of forging a new path, with clear and curious vision.)
The method of selecting a solution has become the real problem.
Unless you are snapping puzzle pieces together or dodging a baseball, quick and easy does not get it done.
A better way to seek the solution is to think about the nature of the solution, the work and the time.
Perhaps this is a more useful question:
What solution results in the least amount of time and effort over the long term?
Installing a sprinkler system might seem like a lot of time and work up front, but it’s better than running around putting out fires forever.