Three Star Leadership | Wally Bock | Problem solving like you mean it - Deepstash

deepstash

Beta

deepstash

Beta

Deepstash brings you key ideas from the most inspiring articles like this one:

Read more efficiently

Save what inspires you

Remember anything

Three Star Leadership | Wally Bock | Problem solving like you mean it

https://www.threestarleadership.com/decision-making/problem-solving-like-you-mean-it#

threestarleadership.com

Three Star Leadership | Wally Bock | Problem solving like you mean it
Serious problems demand serious attention. I remember sitting at a meeting years ago when an issue was raised that might affect my company's operations in all of South America. It was a big deal and a thorny problem. That didn't make much difference to one of the people at the table, though.

4

Key Ideas

Save all ideas

Describe, don’t define

Good problem-solving starts with an accurate description of the situation. Not with a definition.

If you start defining the problem (for e.g, calling it an “accounting problem” or a “marketing problem”) you define the range of solutions that you will consider. 

So, instead of defining the problem, describe the situation.

51 SAVES


VIEW

For a solid description of a situation

  • Get the story of the problem - a timeline with its evolution.
  • Make lists of what you know and what you need to investigate
  • Ask the journalist’s basic questions: who, what, when, where, and why.
  • Refine your answers by comparing the situation you don’t like to one that’s acceptable.

50 SAVES


Optimal problem-solving meetings

  • Schedule them early, before people have used up their thinking and attention on less important things. 
  • Eliminate distractions: put laptops and phones on a table at the back.
  • For serious problems, do more than one meeting. Do some work on the situation, then let things rest. Some people may have ideas the interim that may prove helpful.

42 SAVES


Wernher von Braun

"One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions."

Wernher von Braun

41 SAVES


SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Basic steps to solving any problem

  • Understand the Problem, so you know you're actually focusing on the the real issue at hand.
  • Create a Plan, so you have a series of actionable steps to follow.
  • ...

Understand the Problem

Often the most difficult step, because it's easy to focus on the wrong part of the problem, or look at the problem too broadly.

The first thing you need to do is reduce it to its simplest and purest form so you know exactly what you're dealing with. While you're doing this, you need to ask yourself questions to make sure you're focusing on the right things. 

Create a Plan

You need a plan with actionable steps. Ask yourself what's barring you from moving forward and make step one. Step one will open doors to other steps. 

Consider which steps will open more doors, add them to the plan, and keep doing that until you get to your solution. Things will change as you act on the plan and you'll need to adapt, so it's best to keep your plan somewhat open-ended and try to include steps that involve preparing for trouble you can foresee. 

one more idea

Puzzles and Cognitive Abilities

Puzzles and Cognitive Abilities

People have loved puzzles since the stone age. It is a phenomenon that is now becoming a craze.

Being able to solve puzzles provides us with an ‘aha’ moment and improves our pattern rec...

Math And Music

The ability to solve complex puzzles involves being able to process, match and synthesize a lot of different kinds of information at the same time.

Mathematics and Music are two areas that are different yet have connections in puzzle solving.

A Playful State of Mind

Paradoxically, the more you get inside a puzzle with seriousness and increased effort, the harder it becomes. Just like the losing chess player who is leaning too close to the board, solving puzzles is not about sheer effort, but a playful, relaxed state of mind.

Being able to be non-serious and enjoying the moment helps form the necessary connections that are hindered if the mind is in stress.

Understand the requirements

To solve a problem, you have to understand exactly what the problem is

When you start solving a problem, be sure to understand the starting point, the end goal, and the obstacles in be...

Understand the size of the problem

It's important to understand what is how big the problem is.

Use questions like:

  • How many requests the system should satisfy?
  • What is the expected response time?
  • How many resources do we have?
  • What about deadlines?

Stand on the shoulders of giants

The chance someone else already solved your problem is high. All you have to do is a search in the literature to find out if there is a solution for a problem matching your use case. There is no point in reinventing the wheel.