In any difficult situation, you know more than you think you know. But you’re also less aware of what you don’t know than you think. These two facts lead a common symptom faced by anyone who is tasked with handling a complex problem: just-do-something-itis. That usually manifests as doing what’s worked in the past, doing what other are doing or expect, or doing the thing that gives the quickest result. To help alleviate this stale, unproductive approach to problem solving, I’ve created a one-page thinking aid.

The System Redesign Canvas is a simple tool to allow you to quickly generate understanding of difficult problems by jiggling your mind with a set of nine general prompts designed to elicit your knowledge, and to introduce you to your ignorance. You might already be familiar with the Business Model Canvas used to quickly generate ideas for new or changing businesses. The BMC has proven useful as a strategic thinking tool, and the system redesign canvas has begun to show promise as an aid to problem solvers of all stripes.

Download the System Redesign Canvas

If you find it useful, please let me know. If not, also please let me know.

I will post a short guide on usage soon…