The future holds great plans for those who manage to develop one skill alone: problem solving. Regardless of the professional area, regardless of the economy, regardless of where you are, if there's something that never runs out is problems, which means those who show how to address a problem will have a much better shot at fulfilling remarkable work.
Of course, this isn't easy. If it were, everyone would be doing it (the right way). But there are some tactics one can address to better tackle a problem, any problem in fact. Check out Eric Ries' solution, via Co.Design:
a system called the Five Whys to make incremental investments and evolve a startup’s processes gradually. The core idea of Five Whys is to tie investments directly to the prevention of the most problematic symptoms. The system takes its name from the investigative method of asking the question “Why?” five times to understand what has happened (the root cause).
Sounds like kid talk, right? Picture that phase when everything is questionable for kids and more often than not the "adult ones" just can't handle it. Well, according to Ries, that might as well be the solution to better understanding any problem and consequently the world we live in. His main focus is startups, but by all means I believe it applies to just about anything (such as a creative brief, a relationship issue or a career choice).
Asking "why" one time may help tackle an issue but it may as well get from the other person an impulsive and conscious response, or what some creatives might call "the first idea" (which is usually perceived as better as it really is). Now try digging once more... why? Another response. And again... why? Something else. And so on... also, don't be afraid of the answer being increasingly difficult, because you're starting to funnel your focus and dig deeper into your own unconscious thoughts about something. It means you're probably getting somewhere now.
"Why?", as Simon Sinek has stated, is far more important a question than "how?" or "what?". That doesn't mean you should ask it only once.