The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines ‘solution’ as ‘something that is used or done to deal with and end a problem: something that solves a problem’. The same Dictionary defines ‘system’ as ‘a group of related parts that move or work together’. In Bruce McLelland’s publication’ Prosperity Through Thought Force’ he identified ‘You are what you think, not what you think you are’.
What is the relevance of this theory and statement of dictionary definitions you ask?
It is important that we use language correctly and understand how it affects our behaviours. If we think in terms of systems then we are thinking about parts working together. If we think in terms of solutions we think about solving a problem or variety of problems. Our very start point is from the subconscious based on our thoughts. For our thoughts guide our actions.
In project work the starting point is to look at the problem from an holistic perspective: to work with you in understanding the real, as opposed to perceived, business issues and from this prepare a business case. The business case defines the return on investment. The project that is approved on the basis of the business case will then look at the systems required to realise the business case.
If an organisation calls itself a systems company, then is their start point only relevant when the problems have been thought through and one of their vanilla systems a potential answer?
Touchstone Energy is a solutions business. Our start point is to discuss the business problems, to prepare the business case, agree the outcomes and from this to look at the outputs. Projects are about successful outputs; programmes are about the eventual outcome. So as a business partner we focus on more than the system; we focus on the problem, the solution, the subsequent business case and work with you through the projects to the programme which concludes with outcome delivering the business case.
John Chapman, Programme Director