You may start with a problem or a discovery. You may discover a problem or, in solving a problem, make a discovery. It is rarely, if ever, a linear process of one then the other.
There are innovation frameworks, methods and techniques. They help… but innovation is a messy process that includes going to unfamiliar places and dealing with abstractions and ambiguity. If you are not confused or frustrated at some point in the process, then you are not doing it right. It is not for the faint of heart. It takes conscious effort. It is why many organizations talk about being innovated but few truly are.
Problem solving, at its simplest, is a process of finding solutions to issues. The process may be intentional or unconscious, intuitive, unstructured or follow a method or methods. Problem solving methods may include Eight Disciplines, GROW model, root cause analysis or others or combinations. There are many to choose from.
Discovery is the action or process of being found or uncovered. Discovery is learning and gaining insights. It draws on experience and prior knowledge and is a method of exploration.
Discovery takes place in problem solving and problem solving relies on discovery. It is a dance.
It takes determination and focus to participate in discovery and problem solving. It also takes curiosity, optimism and an open mindedness. It too, is a dance of discipline and flexibility.
It is not easy, as are most things worth gaining. But this is the price for innovation.