Ben Holliday

Everyone wants to solve the problem

What do failing organisations have in common?

Everyone wants to solve the problem, but they want to solve it themselves.

That’s how you get recognition. It’s not recognised as success if you’re seen to depend on somebody else and this is buried deep in the culture of the establishment.

The challenge: move your organisation from ‘everyone wants to solve the problem’ to ‘everyone wants the problem to be solved’.

That’s collaboration. It’s working together. However you do do it, agile or not, that’s your best chance of solving real problems for people.

My experience: it’s difficult to solve some of the most complex problems of designing for human behaviour on your own.

It’s about not having all the answers before 
you start, and being prepared to go on a journey with other people to find them.

It’s being prepared to fail together before we have any chance of succeeding.

Remember, real problems don’t stand still. They move, just as everything, everywhere, moves all the time. If you’re trying to keep up then it’s much easier to run a relay than a marathon.

Making this work

Start with culture.

Build a diverse and inclusive organisation.

Everyone wants to solve the problem. That’s okay. Be thankful for people who care.

Help people realise they’re better off working together with others. They all bring something unique to the process.

Encourage people to think for themselves. Not like the boss, the CEO, or the shareholders.

Introduce empathy as a tool for understanding the world. Acknowledge emotional intelligence.

Don’t worry who gets the credit.

This is my blog where I’ve been writing for 18 years. You can follow all of my posts by subscribing to this RSS feed. You can also find me on Bluesky, less frequently now on X (formally Twitter), and on LinkedIn.