Are you exploratory or hypothesis-driven when you solve problems?

September 7, 2017 No Comments

EKG Pulse Graph with Glowing Blue Line

Our reader poll today asks: When solving problems, are you exploratory or hypothesis-driven in your search for answers?

– I explore broadly to try to find the best answer: 70%
– I’m hypothesis-driven so I can get an answer quickly: 30%

Exploring instead of driving. Clearly folks have a bias toward exploring and finding the “best” answer. This approach is dangerous. First, it can be time and resource intensive. Last I checked, time and resources are scarce commodities. Second, while you’re looking for the “best” answer, the world is changing and new variables enter the equation so by the time you get to “best” it’s not relevant anymore and you have to find a new answer. This gets you in an endless loop of doing analysis instead of executing ideas. Consider a hypothesis-driven approach. Take an educated guess at the answer. Prove or disprove the hypothesis quickly. If you’re right, execute. If wrong, move to the next idea and repeat the process. You’ll get more done in shorter periods of time.

Do you agree with these poll results? Let us know in the comments below!

Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC

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These results were originally a SmartPulse poll in SmartBrief on Leadership which tracks feedback from more than 210,000 business leaders. Get smarter on leadership and sign up for the SmartBrief on Leadership e-newsletter.

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