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Mac Leod thinks of problem solving as an integral practice of successful organizations.“Problem solving is a collaborative process — all voices are heard and connected, and resolution is reached by the group,” she says.In today’s competitive business landscape, organizations need processes in place to make strong, well-informed, and innovative decisions.
The three creative techniques we use to help our clients ‘identify the right problem to be solved’ are questioning assumptions, 20 questions, and problem redefinition.
A good example of this was a new product challenge from a client to help them ‘invent a new iron.
Joe Carella is the Assistant Dean for Executive Education at the University of Arizona.
Joe has over 20 years of experience in helping executives and corporations in managing change and developing successful business strategies.
In recent years, however, there has been a rise in psychology-driven problem solving techniques, especially for the workplace.
Problem Solving Methodology Information Technology
In fact, the psychology of how people solve problems is now studied formally in academic disciplines such as psychology and cognitive science.“Problems and conflicts occur in all groups and teams in the workplace, but if leaders involve everyone in working through, they will foster cohesion, engagement, and buy in.Everybody wins.” Although problem solving techniques vary procedurally, experts agree that the first step in solving a problem is defining the problem.After that, we’ll provide helpful methods and tools to identify the cause(s) of problematic situations, so you can get to the root of the issue and start to generate solutions.Then, we offer nearly 20 creative problem solving techniques to implement at your organization, or even in your personal life.We got them to redefine the challenge as first: a) inventing new anti-wrinkle devices, and then b) inventing new garment care devices.” To understand the necessary skills in problem solving, you should first understand the types of thinking often associated with strong decision making.Most problem solving techniques look for a balance between the following binaries: However, many of the most critical problem solving skills are “soft” skills: personal and interpersonal understanding, intuitiveness, and strong listening.Mattimore expands on this idea: “The seven key skills to be an effective creative problem solver that I detail in my book are: 1) curiosity 2) openness 3) a willingness to embrace ambiguity 4) the ability to identify and transfer principles across categories and disciplines 5) the desire to search for integrity in ideas, 6) the ability to trust and exercise “knowingness” and 7) the ability to envision new worlds (think Dr.Seuss, Star Wars, Hunger Games, Harry Potter, etc.).”“As an individual contributor to problem solving it is important to exercise our curiosity, questioning, and visioning abilities,” advises Carella.“As a facilitator it is essential to allow for diverse ideas to emerge, be able to synthesize and ‘translate’ other people’s thinking, and build an extensive network of available resources.”Mac Leod says the following interpersonal skills are necessary to effectively facilitate group problem solving: “The abilities to invite participation (hear all voices, encourage silent members), not take sides, manage dynamics between the monopolizer, the scapegoat, and the bully, and deal with conflict (not avoiding it or shutting down).” Furthermore, Jaffa explains that the skills of a strong problem solver aren’t measurable.The best way to become a creative problem solver, he says, is to do regular creative exercises that keep you sharp and force you to think outside the box.