Where is the problem? Explore the circumstances, conditions, and values that surround the problem.
How can the problem be resolved? Think broadly about the means to address your problem.
When should you act? Consider the appropriate time for action in a dynamic environment, accounting for system life cycles.
Answering these questions — as individuals or as a group of stakeholders — ensures that you sufficiently understand how your problem works, that you and others perceive the problem similarly, and that you’ve considered a range of potential interventions.
Think Phase in Practice
The National Fund’s regional collaborative in Syracuse, CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity, is deep into thinking with stakeholders from the mayor’s office, the business community, training institutions, and labor unions. CenterState is thinking through coordinated action to create economic opportunities for people of color in the construction and tech sectors.
Tools You Can Use in the Think Phase
Analyze a System From Multiple Perspectives
Access the 5Rs framework, which highlights five key dimensions of systems: results, roles, relationships, rules, and resources.