Basic Problem Solving Skills

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Peter Drucker advocates that we should starve problems and start feeding opportunities.

Perhaps because we don’t see the right problems to solve or the opportunity in solving them.

Uncommon Leadership: how to build competitive edge by thinking differently “a tour de force …

all integrated into a fascinating intellectual package” Professor Dennis J.

That’s what we set to answer in our problem solving skill article: “Finding the Right problems to Solve”.

You will find useful management tips in this activity to start the problem solving process by looking firstly at the possibilities in your current issues and then secondly looking to the future.In “the best management tools ever: a good question” there is a tool which groups questions to help you: A rich range of possible solutions opens up the opportunities.When you consider you have plenty of ideas with potential it’s time to make a decision.The problem solving activity question checklist leads you through a set of questions to identify the nature of the problem and to analyse what it is and what it isn’t.One of the most important aspects of analysing any situation is involving the right people.Ever heard people say (or perhaps said yourself) things like : ” I wished we hadn’t jumped to that solution so quickly.” “I think we may have solved the wrong problem.” “It was only at the end that I realised we had acted too quickly with too little information.” “The solution we went ahead with turned out to be impractical and too expensive.” A structured process helps ensure you stay on track with what you need to do to solve a problem.The seven step problem solving technique covers: You’ll find a brief explanation of these points below.Placing a high value on the ideas of others is a crucial leadership concept and facilitator skill when generating ideas to solve problems.We have already suggested that for effective problem solving you need to ensure that you find the right problems to solve and then ask yourself what opportunities are created by solving this problem. We have developed a tool, the power of positive thinking, which helps you to focus on those opportunities, using 5 questions that create opportunities.Once you’ve read these, you can find more details, in our comprehensive guide to problem solving: What’s the Problem (with a tool for each or our problem solving steps). Not many problem solving processes include this step, yet it is absolutely crucial. This is also one of themost important stages in our seven step problem solving technique. Well too often our approach to problem solving is reactive, we wait for the problems to arise.Think how often we spend time and resources on problems which don’t necessarily demand such attention. So firstly in our seven step problem solving process, we advocate taking a proactive approach, go and find problems to solve; important and valuable problems.


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