Problem Solved! Kinda.

We’re dog-people around here. No surprise, I’ve mentioned before the relationship between people who feed birds and those who have dogs. Well, we fit the demographic.

This video of my grandson, Luke, with his new puppy, Sunny, made me laugh and, ironically, got me thinking about decision making. It’s a challenge to discover the best business (or life) solutions when stakeholders lack a shared understanding of The Problem. Here’s a scenario:


Stakeholder One (Luke’s Mom): works from home during the pandemic while supervising Luke and Sunny.

Stakeholder Two (Luke): six years old, LOVES the outdoors; but fervently believes the best outdoor travel is on wheels: scooter, skates, battery-vehicles, bikes, you get the picture.

Stakeholder Three (Sunny): 5-month old Puggle, intense chewer-of-things, plays with squeaky toys until your head nearly explodes, and needs potty breaks about every hour. She’s skeptical of walks and leashes.



Stakeholder One believes The Problem is how to get the physical activity that will tire Luke and Sunny to the point of naps (so she can work).

Stakeholder Two believes The Problem is figuring out how they can all explore the neighborhood when Sunny resists walking on a leash.

Stakeholder Three doesn’t notice any problem.



Stakeholder One thinks a long walk outside will get the intended result.

The video clip shows Stakeholder Two’s solution to The Problem.

Stakeholder Three still doesn’t recognize a problem.


The key takeaway here is that the best solutions come when The Problem is explicitly defined and understood by all stakeholders. But when that’s not the case, you can still rely on some fresh ideas and a few laughs.

Author: Nathan Odell

Published: September 24, 2020