A few days ago I helping the accountant for one of my clients setup remote access. As we were working through getting the remote access setup she asked me to recommend a new multi-function printer (printer, scanner, copier, etc.).

"Why do you need a new MFC?"

"The scanning is not working"

"But the printer part of it is working fine, right?"

"Yes."

"Do you do a lot of scanning?"

"My life is scanning."

"Your an accountant, of course your life is about paper. Don't get a new printer. Get yourself a dedicated scanner. You will not regret it."

Today I received an email from her. She wrote, "Used the scanner all day yesterday and you were right. I do like it."

So what is the take away from this? What is the biggest mistake business owners make when dealing with technology?

The biggest mistake business owners make when dealing with technology is defining the solution they want. Focusing on the solution will only reveal solutions they already know.

So how do business owners avoid this? Instead of focusing on how they want to solve a problem they should focus on defining the problem. Focusing on the business problem will offer the possibility of discovering a new way doing things that can potentially transform their business.

So the next time you speak with your technology team or for that matter any domain expert, don't tell them the solutions you want them to implement. Tell them about the challenges you are facing. You might discover something new.