At Make it Matter we work with clients that are trying to solve a problem or tackle an opportunity. In doing so we spend time to understand what's actually going on in their business and in their world. There's no point in focusing our joint energy and resources on trying to address something that isn't actually the problem. Or going after an opportunity that isn't one.
A big part of this approach is separating facts from fiction. Subjective opinions, inferences and conclusions (fiction) can evolve unlike facts that are true/ real/ actual and relatively inflexible. But that isn't often the case.
Many facts aren't actually facts... they are fiction that is called a fact by it's author. More often than not it's the author's subjective opinion about something that they're proposing to be a fact; "The fact is, this product won't work because it's too expensive".
Then there's the fact (yes, I went there) that most facts are historic and not necessarily accurate now.
And if the fact is actually real (not someone's opinion), and current, it is often put forth strongly attached to a piece of fiction. This piece of fiction is often then confused as being factual, and it's not.
E.g. Sales are down 14% (fact) due to poor penetration (opinion - not a fact).
E.g. The last 5 NPD projects have died early deaths (fact) - something is wrong with the process (not a fact).
If you are trying to solve a problem or tackle an opportunity, do everything you can to separate the facts from fiction. But then interrogate the hell out of the facts to make sure they are who they say they are.