List the obstacles - Deepstash

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8 Things Really Great Problem Solvers Do

List the obstacles

Great problem solvers take a high-level view of the issues involved and jot down a list of all the potential factors that could get in the way of a solution. 

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Systems thinking

Is a way of seeing the world as a series of interconnected and interdependent systems rather than lots of independent parts. 

As a thinking tool, it seeks to oppose the reductionist view  (the idea that a system can be understood by the sum of its isolated parts ) and replace it with the view that everything is part of a larger whole and that the connections between all elements are critical.

Systems

...are sets of related components that work together in a particular environment to perform whatever functions are required to achieve the system's objective.

The 3 main systems at play
  • Social systems: rules and structures, created by humans, that keep society functioning.
  • Industrial systems: all manufactured material world, created to facilitate human needs.
  • The ecosystem: which provides all the natural services (clean air, food, fresh water, minerals and natural resources) needed for the other two systems to exist.
Use the why lens

Great leaders only solve problems within their control. Ones connected to their biggest why. They ask:

  • Is this our problem?
  • Why should we solve this problem?
  • What happens if we don’t?
  • How would the solution contribute to accomplishing our most important goals?
Problems as opportunities

Problems fuel great leaders, providing opportunities to learn and grow to the next level. 

The greater the problem, the hungrier they are for a solution. Leaders like Richard Branson, Elon Musk, and Bill Gates view problems as golden opportunities to disrupt the market and revolutionize the customer experience.

Acknowledging the problem

Great leaders acknowledge there is a problem and demonstrate the severity of the problem and the benefit of the solution to stakeholders, partners, and shareholders. 

This way, the leader not only takes responsibility for making the problem transparent, but he or she also explores different dimensions of the problem, consequently benefiting from others’ ideas.

Small Thinking And Big Thinking

Companies, teams and individual achievers are sharply focused on achieving goals. But this focus on completion often limits the scope of the results and stifles innovation.

There is a time and place for problem-solving efficiency. But the regularity and pervasiveness of expansive thinking will actually solve problems you haven't yet identified, bringing greater efficiency, and giving you more time to execute big ideas.

Create Specified Time For Thinking

Set aside time to tackle a problem and then use the entire time. Don't head for the door after the first good idea, as there may be bigger and better ideas to come.

Encourage Outside Learning

Bring facilitation techniques to encourage participation.

By giving team members time and resources to grow, learn, and explore you get a better quality and wider brainstorming.