The importance of defining a problem
One day an elderly member of an African tribe was out walking in the bush and was bitten by a snake.
Not long after he got back to the camp and raised the alarm, he collapsed and died.
Without hesitating, the tribal leader ordered for the remaining tribesman to systematically hunt down and kill every snake in the area.
Six weeks later, all the snakes were gone.
But many more tribespeople had died. Not from snakebites but from malaria.
Had the tribal leader examined the problem before acting he would have discovered that only red snakes are poisonous. Brown snakes are harmless and they eat mosquitoes.
This parable neatly illustrates the importance of correctly defining your problem before you try and solve it.
So next time you have a problem to solve, keep in mind these seven common mistakes people make when defining a problem.