The first stage of any project should be discovery. You need to discover what all parties have to offer and whether they can collaborate successfully, and you need to discover what the problem is. What is the "Pain Point" that is at the root of the problem?
Listening and asking questions should be the main focus, not offering a solution. You need to be solving a problem, not solving a solution. If you aren't asking "Why, What, or When" with each question, then you aren't defining what the problem is, and you are going to be solving for a solution instead, which may not have anything to do with what the true problem is.
If you are generating complex solutions, then you probably haven't drilled down deep enough to define what the core problem is. Ask more probing questions and define end goals. Any problem can be broken down into smaller chunks and those will guide the strategy.
User stories, design guidelines, and the development process can all be points towards new discoveries. UX teams can discover a more efficient path to solving a problem, or discover that users actively want a specific feature that can be added to enhance the user experience. Design teams can discover new systems or brand concepts and expand on them. Development teams can learn new tools and technologies and discover how they might be quicker to iterate.
Discovery doesn't have to end when a project is launched and handed over. All project members and stake holders can discover during the review how things could have been accomplished differently or agree that the best path was chosen and that process should be developed further. Collaborators can discover that new possibilities can arise from successful projects. New ideas for future products or enhanced features for existing products can be discovered as well.
It should become part of your DNA as well as your work process. Do it on a personal level, and doing it on a team level will become second nature! Keep learning, growing, adventuring, reading, traveling and discovering. Whatever fuels you and makes you want to wake up in the morning.