Switch the focus

When you go to a cafe or restaurant you can focus on:

  • the food
  • service
  • lighting
  • coffee
  • booking system etc

In other words you can select what you focus on and for how long.

Let’s take another example.

When you go to the movies you can focus on:

  • the characters
  • action scenes
  • the story
  • soundtrack
  • the theatre itself
  • all of the above…

Again you can decide what you focus on and for how long.

My wife and I are good examples of this.

In the latest Tom Cruise movie Maverick I loved the aerial dogfighting and my wife focused more on the character development and the soundtrack.

This meant we experienced the movie differently.

Neither of us was right or wrong – just different.

In short, you can switch your focus at any time.

This same approach (i.e. to switch the focus) can be used when you (and your team) are faced with a problem.

You can decide what you focus on.

It could be for example:

  • Why there is a problem
  • How the problem is defined or framed
  • When, where and who has the problem
  • How to solve the problem (i.e. a solution focus)
  • Who else has solved the problem
  • What is working well
  • What you don’t know

In short, you can switch the focus.

What you focus on is not fixed – it’s fluid.

This approach offers a more dynamic view of problem solving, idea generation and innovation more generally.

It’s also an ideal approach for groups and teams.

For example, you can have different members of a team working on different aspects of a problem. One person can focus on say the problem definition, others on say what is working and perhaps others on what is not known that might be important.

Then the smaller groups can come together in a bigger group and discuss their ideas.

Switching your focus is just one of the 6 Switches that you and your group or team can use to make a big difference in a small time.


Check out the 6 Switches Canvas. It’s simple, practical and free.