Developing Yourself:

Achievement Management

Effective Problem Solving

The Art, Science, and Practice

  

Vadim Kotelnikov

Treat problems as opportunities
because that's what they are!

Vadim Kotelnikov,personal logo


  

   

 
   

 

 

Pearls of Wisdom

 East

Desires are the cause suffering. If desire, which lies at the route of all human passion, can be removed, then passion will die out and all human suffering will be ended.

~ Buddhism

He who wants to do good knocks at the gate; he who loves finds the gate open.

~ Rabindranath Tagore

Everything will settle in its own place automatically.

~ Lao Tzu

 West

For every thousand hacking at the leaves of evil, there is one striking at the root.

~ Henry David Thoreau

When the solution is simple, God is answering.

~ Albert Einstein

Problems are just opportunities in their work clothes.

~ Henry Kaisers

The solving a problem lies in finding the solvers.

~ Van Herpen's Law

 

Art, Science, and Practice of Problem Solving

  • The Art asking effective questions

  • The Science answering these questions, analyzing the answers, and evaluating their results

  • The Practice implementing the solutions

Six Steps of the Problem-Solving Process

Positive Attitude quotes: If you treat problems as problems, they are problems. If you treat problems as opportunities, they are opportunities. Vadim Kotelnikov

Sun Tzu's The Art of War

The Five Things You Should Know To Win

Turn Problems into Opportunities

  • Don't focus on the problems

  • Look for solutions

  • See every problem as an opportunity... More

Your Best Tools for Effective Problem Solving Are:

 

 

Positive Thinking DOs and DON'Ts

  • Don't see problems as a course.
    Do see problems as blessings in disguise and search for great opportunities they bring about...
    More

Ask Searching Questions

Don't ask one or two questions and then rush straight towards a solution. With an incomplete understanding of the problem it is very easy to jump to wrong conclusions.

Ask open-ended questions that elicit a wide rage of answers:

  • 'Why' questions  to discover the roots of the problem

  • 'How' questions to discover different routes to significant improvement (see example)

Jokes about Problem Solving

Burke's Rule

  • Never create a problem for which you do not have the answer.

  • Create problems for which only you have the answer.

 

References:

  1. Lateral Thinking, Edward de Bono

  2. Decision Making and Problem Solving, John Adair

  3. The NLP Coach, Ian McDermott and Wendy Jago

  4. Agenda, Michael Hammer

  5. The Art of Innovation, Tom Kelley

  6. ASIT Technique Creativity and Inventive Thinking, Roni Horowitz

  7. Six Thinking Hats, Edward de Bono

  8. Customer problems can create business opportunities, Scott Clark

  9. "Problem Solving", CTER

Problem Defined

A problem is simply the difference between what you have and what you want. It may be a matter of getting something, of getting rid of something, of avoiding something, or of getting to know what you want.

The Starting Point of the Problem Solving Process

Problem solving starts with a burning desire to change something and an open mind.

6 Mindsets of a Great Achiever

 

 

Two Approaches to Solving Problems

It has been said that 98% of an organization's problems can be solved routinely. However, the remaining 2% of an organization's problems   the problems that have the greatest effect on the organization require innovation to surmount.

Build cross-functional expertise to be able to find innovative solutions to old problems. Simple solutions to many problems are often just nearby waiting for you to find them.

Focus on Solutions, not Problems

Your Attitude is extremely important. When you think of problems you'll only attract more problems. When you think of solutions you'll attract solutions and opportunities. Approach the problem with the expectant attitude that there is an innovative practical solution just waiting to be found.  Be relaxed, confident and clear in your mind.

Success Stories Best Business Practices Focus on Problems vs. Focus on Solutions

Someone said "Focus on problem leads to inventions! and Focus on solution leads to discoveries."... More

Problem Solving Strategies

The best strategy is to avoid potential problems, yet problems do occur now and then. There are many different strategies for solving problems. You need to pick the strategy that fits the problem best.

Solving People Problems

People problems are inevitable. Various people problems arise from the differences in perceptions, negative emotions, or unclear communication. The greatest communication problem is that the message sent is not the message received. Often, the problem or the conflict lies not in objective reality, but in people heads.

To prevent or solve people problems, base your relationships on accurate perceptions, friendly and clear communication, empathetic listening, appropriate emotions, and forward-looking positive outlook. Put yourself in their shoes to understand their perceptions and the way of their thinking. If you wish to achieve their psychological commitment to a mutually satisfactory outcome, involve them in the problem solving process and reaching that outcome... More

Restore the Balance

Balance is a key element of a happy life and sustainable business.

Yin (passive, receptive) and Yang (active, creative) are both opposing forces and complementary pairs. Problems arise not when the two forces are battling, but when there is an imbalance between them in the environment. Conflicts, business problems, health disorders, divorce, and other problems all can be attributed to disharmony in the forces of Yin and Yang... More

Socratic Method

To solve a problem, brake it down into a series of questions, the answers to which gradually distill the answer you seek... More

The Power of Positive Thinking

Positive Thinking: 5 Benefits

Don't focus on the problem, look for solutions. See every problem as an opportunity. Expect that there is an innovative practical solution just waiting to be found... More

Brainstorming

The best-known and widely used team-based problem-solving and creative-thinking technique is brainstorming. One major reason why brainstorming is useful is that it helps to free us from 'fixed ideas'... More

Brainstilling

Brainstilling helps you sol solve a difficult problem.  or arrive silently and peacefully to an enduring decision. Our conscious is only a small fraction of the subconscious, and the conscious has only a small fraction of information that is available to the subconscious. What you need is just to tune your subconscious mind into relevant cues by focusing on a specific problem and opening your subconscious. If you do so, relevant information, insights and solutions will suddenly come to you seemingly from out of nowhere... More

Five-Why Process

The "Five-Why Process" was introduced at Toyota to find solution to manufacturing problems, but this approach can be applied to any other area as well.  Ask "Why this problem happened?" to discover its underlying problem; then ask "Why?" again to go deeper by another level until you reach the root cause. Asking "why" repeatedly, possibly more than five times, directs the focus toward real causes so problems can be solved permanently... More

STRIDES Problem Solving Model

The STRIDES model was developed by the Quality Support Council of Fidelity Investments. This model provides employees in every part of the corporation with a common language and process for implementing Kaizen a strategy of continuous improvement. As stated in Fidelity's Models for Quality Improvement, STRIDES is the approach to use "where the problem is more complex."... More

NLP Solutions: Reframing

"The way we see the problem is the problem." ~ Stephen Covey

Reframing is a powerful technique to solve problems. The value of reframing is being able to consider an issue from many different aspects. It is a way of getting people to think: 'How else can I do or consider this?'... More

Turning Customer Problems Into Business Opportunities

Don't look at customer problems as a necessary burden of business. See customer problems as a great opportunity instead. If you can resolve the problem quickly to the customer's satisfaction, you will strengthen the bond of trust with that customer, who will spread the good word to others... More

Selling Is Problem Solving

Analyzing Problems and Selecting Solutions: Six Thinking Hats

The Six Thinking Hats proposal analysis tool invented by Edward de Bono7 is particularly useful for evaluating innovative and provocative ideas. While most of our thinking is adversarial, the six thinking hats technique overcomes these difficulties by forcing everyone to think in parallel. As participants wear each hat white, red, yellow, black, green, or blue they all must think a certain way at the same time... More

Effective Problem Solving in Business

By: Brian Tracy

Your ability to communicate is the most important skill you can develop to get on to the fast track in your career. Perhaps the most important thing you do in business is to solve problems and make decisions, both by yourself and with other people... More

ASIT Techniques6: Working Backwards

The working backwards technique tells us to consciously start from the end of the process and develop it step by step from there... More

The Power of Prototyping

Prototyping can help you tackle problems when you don't have the answers. "When the project is especially complex, prototyping is a way of making progress when the challenges seem insurmountable. Focused prototyping helps resolve little critical problems one by one. Once you get in gear, you'll be surprised at how easily some of the solutions appear," writes Tom Kelly5 from IDEO.