How do we define?
The most challenging part of innovation is frequently not the creative process itself. The tough part lies in clearly recognizing an unmet need and stating the problem in a way that points to a useful solution. A clear problem statement is a great way to unlock creativity. In the second step of the BeLocal Process, innovative thinkers draw on the Discover data to identify challenges and then clearly Define problems to be solved. The problem statements will include the issues to be addressed with reference links to the discover data as well as a proposed measurement of performance.
The BLP supports two different approaches to Defining problems. In the first case, any user of the site or BeLocal team member can suggest a problem to address with reference links to Discover data, attracting other innovators to create solutions. This approach allows particular focus to be placed on given problem areas. Alternatively, innovators can explore the Discover dataset and identify any problem they see. The extensive raw data allows an innovator to observe a wide range of issues, allowing completely open-ended observation and problem identification.
In either case, innovators who define a problem do not necessarily have to solve it in the next step of the process. This is an important and powerful aspect of the BeLocal Process. Some people may be particularly good at observing problems, but may lack the desire, time or ability to solve them. An innovator can make a real contribution just by exploring the data and identifying worthwhile problems for other innovators to solve. The ‘crowd’ that sources problems can be different than the ‘crowd’ that solves them, opening up the BeLocal process to a more diverse group of innovators. In this case, more is better!