The Define Your Problem IQ Matrix explores how to define your problem before beginning the problem-solving process. Having a clear definition of your problem will help you lay down the foundations for solving that problem. This is the first of a five-part series of mind maps that explore the creative problem-solving process. The purpose of this first step is to clearly define the problem that is confronting your reality. In other words, it’s about clarifying the goal you want to achieve. We also, however, want to explore your past reality, current reality, and your desired reality. Exploring your past reality is essential because it can help you learn from your prior successes, failures, and mistakes. Exploring your current reality is critical because it will help you identify your present circumstances, concerns, and any potential roadblocks you face. All of which can help you solve your problem.
Specifically, the mind map explores how to define your problem and the goal you would like to achieve. It then challenges you to imagine a desired reality where your problem is no longer a concern. And it concludes by guiding you through a critical assessment of your past and present. This will help lay down the foundations for solving the problem.
Here is a quick breakdown of each branch of the Define Your Problem mind map.
- The Purpose: The first branch of this map briefly outlines the purpose of this specific stage of the problem-solving process.
- Problem Definition: The second branch explores how to define your problem and the goal you would like to achieve. It does this by presenting you with several thought-provoking and insightful questions. Without a clear definition of the problem, you will struggle to find the answers you need to find an effective solution.
- Imagine Your Desired Reality: Now it’s time to take yourself into the future and imagine what your desired reality will look like once the problem has been resolved. This is an important step as it will help comprehend the steps you might need to take to reach a satisfactory resolution to this problem.
- Illuminate Your Past and Current Reality: Finally, you must understand what’s worked and what hasn’t worked for you in the past when attempting to solve this type of problem. In addition to this, you must also explore your current reality. Unless you have clarity about where you are right now and the resources you have on hand, then you will struggle to find an appropriate and workable solution to your problem.
This map provides a roadmap and framework for clearly defining your problem and setting up the problem-solving process. Referencing it regularly and committing it to memory will help you to embed these concepts and ideas into your subconscious mind.
A mind map, of course, does this beautifully because it mirrors the synaptic connections made in your brain as you try to establish new habits of thought and behavior. It brings together key concepts and ideas that help your brain to fully integrate and process this information. The brain, subsequently, rewires itself as it attempts to establish new habits of mind. It’s an ideal tool for creating lasting change and transformation.
Stick with these principles, memorize and incorporate them into your life, and you will progressively develop the necessary habits-of-mind to help you define your problem. With a clear definition of the problem, you will lay down the foundations for the remainder of the problem-solving process.
Below you will find links to all five problem-solving mind maps. Together they will provide you with a comprehensive outline of the creative problem-solving process.
- Define Problem
- Investigate Problem
- Re-Imagine Idea
- Engineer Plan of Action
- Execute and Master
- BONUS: Solving Life’s Problems provides a solid introduction to the process and the mindset required to help you solve your life’s problems most effectively.
When you purchase the Define Your Problem IQ Matrix you will receive:
- A PDF copy of the IQ Matrix, which you can use for printing in high resolution.
- A JPG image file of the IQ Matrix, which is ideal for viewing on tablets and mobile devices.
- A Desktop Background version of the map you can use for reference on your computer.
- A MindManager file for those who wish to edit the content of the IQ Matrix.
- A printable PDF summary that breaks down each branch of the IQ Matrix in detail.
Additional visual resources and variations of this IQ Matrix might be added to your account page at no extra cost in the future.