Monday, November 9, 2015

Three Questions to Assess Employees “Problem-Solving” Capability

The Great problem-solvers are the ones who possess the right mind with positivity, critical thinking, creative thinking, and systems thinking.

People are always the most invaluable asset in organizations because the collective capabilities underpin business strategy execution and amplify business influence. But how can organizations “value” their employees, and more specifically, evaluate each individual’s capability, especially the “problem-solving’ ability more effectively and objectively? Here are three questions to assess employees problem-solving capability.

Do you have the right mindset to overcome challenges? Are you the one always ask open questions such as,”what if,” or “why not.”The people with strong capabilities to solve tough problems are the ones who possess the right mind with positivity, critical thinking, creative thinking, and systems thinking. The right mindset is utmost quality for being a right fit, because the power of the mind is the force to problem-solving, overcome challenges and change the business or even the world for better. When one leaves negative thoughts and conventional wisdom, and to seek additional knowledge and experience, they are stepping outside that box to unfamiliar territory, and they not only gain additional experience but often have better chance to solve the old problem more creatively. There are also some mindsets, such as silo thinking (refuse to have cross-functional collaboration); polar thinking (we are right, they are wrong); non-critical thinking (reflexive, not reflective), stereotypical ('looks' like leader, not think as a leader), small thinking (locally right, globally wrong) or simply those 'resistance to change' mind (we always do things this way), have difficult time to solve tough problems, and continue to argue “it’s impossible.” Even worse, when people do not use their energy in positive ways, such as learning or problem-solving, their energy might flow to the wrong direction with negative emotions such as gossiping, envy, jealous, or back-biting, etc, and they become part of problems.

Are you in a continuous learning mode with the intellectual curiosity to enjoy problem-solving? A true problem-solver enjoys understanding the complexity and guide people through it; finding common ground and initiative dialogues. Turn around the tough situations, and enjoy the challenges about complex problem-solving. They also have the intellectual curiosity to dig into the root cause. If you only fix the symptom, not the root cause, then it perhaps causes more problems later. And that is why our world today; contains, in reality, more problems creators than true problems solvers because trying to solve a problem, by nature will create others. And if you don’t have a sound solution to each newly created problem, you’ll have very little chances to succeed solving the main problem, and all is connected. Therefore, you have to apply multi-dimensional intelligence ( creative thinking, critical thinking, strategic thinking and system thinking) that goes into problem identification as well as solution discovering!

Are you a Change Agent who is also a pathfinder or synthesizer with the set of skills for exploring and problem-solving? Change is not for its own sake, the very purpose of the change is often for problem-solving, progression, or innovation. However, resistance to change is part of human nature. For many people, "sameness" is psychological security. Change leads to psychological insecurity. Even though it is difficult to change human nature, there is still value in understanding that resistance is normal and must be considered/managed, in order to solve business problems more radically. To be a super problem-solver, an individual's attitudes and beliefs are all valid within the context of his or her personal experience. Taking people through new experiences, exposing them to additional "data" through those experiences, and doing that very purposefully will create the opportunity to shift attitudes, beliefs, mindsets that ultimately will cultivate their problem-solving capabilities.

The problem-solving capability is perhaps one of the most critical capabilities for today’s digital leaders and professional because both business environment and the world become over complex and full of uncertainty. Attitude, aptitude, and altitude are all important to be a great problems solver. There are small problems, large problems; simple problems, and tough challenges. Therefore, both quality and quantity count, recognize and reward your problem-solvers.

Three Questions to Assess Talent Employees' Problem-Solving Capability
Three Questions to Assess the Quality of an Employee
Three Questions to Assess a Person's Character
Three Questions to Assess Talent Creativity
Three Questions to Assess a Person's Ability to Think Strategically


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