Have you ever had a problem that you struggled to solve? Perhaps it was at work or at home and no matter how much you thought about it you couldn’t fix it.
There is a great quote from Albert Einstein about problem solving that says,
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
So what else can we do?
Well, why not take the helicopter view?
A helicopter view is about taking a higher perspective, reframing a problem and taking a different approach. If you think about a helicopter when it is on the ground, the pilot can see a small area with little information or context about the surroundings but when the helicopter takes to the air the surface area get larger, the picture of the wider surroundings gets clearer. The further the helicopter rises up in the air the more of the surroundings the pilot can take in and the more able the pilot is to navigate to the chosen destination.
Using this metaphor, how can we use the helicopter view to solve our problems?
If you are thinking about how to develop your business or your department perhaps you could take a wider view that takes in how you could best serve your customers rather than just what your immediate operational targets are?
If you are looking to improve your relationships perhaps you could change the context to think about what others need or want and how you could help them rather than what you want to achieve?
Another way to reframe a problem is to change the context of time. What if you had 5, 10 or 15 years to solve your problem – what actions would you take? Why not start taking those actions now?
If you are feeling really brave, why not reframe your problems through someone else’s eyes. If there are people you admire then why not try to model their approach on your problems?
So, if you have a problem to solve, don’t go hoping for a miracle….it’s not enough.
Take the helicopter view!