Autodesk got its start when we democratized CAD technology by making it available on personal computers that were much less expensive than special-purpose workstations so that small mom and pop architect shops could graduate from using their drafting tables. We have never forgotten that and still serve Mom and Pop customers today, but in addition to small shops, we also have large firms as customers. For them, we are often a trusted advisor instead of just another vendor. Part of the reason is that we work closely with them to help them solve their workflow-related problems.
One of the things that some of our larger customers take advantage of is our Future of Making workshops. In these workshops, a customer identifies a problem that they are having, and Autodesk works with them to apply problem-solving techniques in pursuit of solutions. Over a series of blog posts, I thought I'd share some of those techniques.
One approach to customer-workflow problem-solving is to:
- FRAME THE CONTEXT — What is changing in your business?
- ANALYZE FORCES — What is the impact to your business?
- EXPLORE OPTIONS — What might you do differently?
- ENVISION YOUR FUTURE — What should you do differently?
- DECIDE BOLD STEPS — What will you do differently?
A variety of problem-solving techniques can be applied during these steps. One of the techniques that can be used to EXPLORE OPTIONS in a problem-solving meeting is to use a Statement Starter:
Using a Statement Starter in a problem-solving meeting is helpful because the Statement Starter defines the participants' problem space. It establishes a frame of reference of the problems to be solved, alternatives, and potential solutions. Getting this statement starter right is vital to the success of a problem-solving meeting. Good starters identify core challenges that charge and excite the group. If they are too broad and abstract, the meeting becomes academic. If they are too narrow, the group gets caught in the weeds. The key is to find the sweet spot that is interesting and exciting yet relevant.
The Statement Starter is a technique from the LUMA Institute. As I have blogged before, Autodesk has adopted LUMA techniques and uses them company-wide.
Technique sharing is alive in the lab.