Problem Solving:

4 Levels Problem Solving

Strategic Problem Solving

Identifying the Problem, Providing Strategic Alignment, and Brainstorming Solutions

By: Vadim Kotelnikov

Founder, Ten3 Business e-Coach Inspiration, Achievement, Innovation and Happiness unlimited!


See the Big Picture


"How you think about a problem is more important than the problem itself – so always think positively." ~ Norman Vincent Peale

Great Problem Solver


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Great Problem Solver

Strategic Problem Solving: Idea Management Strategies

Many factors affect your life and business. Strategic problem solving focuses on the most important ones – the key drivers and their interdependence. Ideas can be all over the place.


To develop ideas efficiently, you need a strategy that addresses the identified problem.

The Strategic Problem Solving process has five phases:

  1. structuring the problem;

  2. defining the desired result,

  3. constraints and strategy;

  4. gathering data and analyzing it;

  5. brainstorming ideas to develop recommendations; and

  6. gaining organizational buy-in.

The ideas you want to develop should flow from the strategies you identify to achieve the objectives. Objective is what you want to achieve. Strategy is how you propose to achieve the objective. Such strategic alignment defines which domains to explore and which ones to avoid.

Creative Problem Solving: Reframing

 Best Practice  Strategic Problem Solving Lessons from McKinsey

Make a Chart Every Day

During the problem-solving process, you learn something new every day.

Put it down on paper. It will help you push your thinking. You may use it, or you may not, but once you have crystallized it on the page, you won’t forget it.

Look at the Big Picture

Every now and then, take a mental step back from whatever you’re doing. Ask yourself some basic questions:

  • How does what you’re doing solve the problems?

  • How does it advance your thinking?

  • Is it the most important thing you could be doing right now?

  • If it’s not helping, why are you doing it?

Pluck the Low-hanging Fruit

Sometimes in the middle of the problem-solving process, opportunities arise to get an easy win, to make immediate improvements, even before the overall problem has been solved.

Seize those opportunities! They create little victories for you and your team. They boost morale and give you added credibility by showing anybody who may be watching that you’re on the ball and mean business.