Give them the problem, not the solution

As good as your ideas are they will never be good or as interesting or as creative as the ideas coming out of a group of people: there is only one of you, but there are several of them. One brain, one set of experiences vs a whole group of brains trying to outdo each other.

If you tell them what to do you will limit the quality of the solution to what you think can be done. Worse: you might impose a solution that works for you (your personality, your management style) but will fail for them.

Instead, if you explain the problem you want to solve and let them run with it, they will report solutions you never thought of or didn’t think were possible; solutions that fit their environment best; solutions that you wouldn’t be able to think of because you don’t have visibility at that level. And they will feel strong ownership and responsibility towards the solution and will go out of their way to ensure it works – to impress you, to thank you for the trust you put in them, in the hope that next time you’ll ask them again.

Sit back, watch them solve the problem and let yourself be delighted. Crowdsource the solution and you’ll be amazed of what comes back.







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