A problem-solver is someone who gets handed a challenge, goes into the lab, and doesn’t come out until he or she has an answer. A solution-finder looks around the world and is agnostic as to where the answer comes from, so long as it’s the best answer at the lowest cost in the shortest time.The passage really got me thinking about the difference between the two. Too often, we're trying to act like the problem-solver by thinking we have (or are capable of getting to) the answer. So we put our heads down, chug ahead, and try, try, try until we get something resembling the correct answer.
The better way to go about things would be to find solutions, first by thinking about the task/problem at hand and being open to all possible ideas. I think it's the solution finders who come up with the interesting answers to problems and in a company these are the people who find the best answer in the quickest amount of time.
Another interesting idea behind the quote is comparative advantage - in this case, being willing to admit you don't have all the answers, being open to other (sometimes unorthodox) ideas, and then finding someone who can help find the solution. Moral of the story - open mindedness, collaboration, and humility.
So what are you? A problem-solver or a solution-finder? And is it even bad/good to be one or the other?