Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The New Book “Problem-Solving Master” Chapter IV: Leverage Systems Thinking in Problem-Solving

Although Systems Thinking might slow down the problem-solving scenario, it’s worth its weight in framing the right problems before solving them.

The world has become so dynamic with the exponential growth of information, it is full of opportunities and problems. Many problems do exist because they are either ill-defined or the concept cannot be adequately captured contextually. Further, there’s the problem that the same word means different things to different people because they carry different emotional baggage or have the cognitive difference. So, what’re the logical scenarios for problems diagnosing and solving? And how to leverage Systems Thinking in problem-solving?

Applying Systems Thinking to frame the problems: Systems Thinking provides a more holistic way to view the problems. It offers a better and more accurate understanding of the overall situation and problems, and hence, better defining the problems and subsequently how you should go about solving them and in what sequence. Systems Thinking also provides insight into emergent issues, both the positive emergent issues required and the negative emergent issues that come about, particularly due to the combination of parts and the interactions within the system and between the system and its environment. Systems Thinking provides the tools and methodologies to define problems under uncertainty. It helps you actually understand the problem, you need to be clear about one of the common features of systems. The way any element within a system affects the whole depends on what at least one other element is doing. Systems Thinking provides a structured process and takes consideration of the range of options.

Take systematic approaches and well-tested methodologies to solve problems:
For large and complex problems, it is often a good idea to first split problems into different categories and to assess the relative importance of the different categories for them and what could be done about it. High mature digital leaders encompass the ability to address the systems, processes, and the human elements to improve problem-solving effectiveness. Behind every problem is a relationship dynamic out of alignment, in relation to fixing root causes of problems. A high-performing culture will invariably have a management process to address this. Thus, the top management needs to have their finger on the pulse in order to steer the organization in the direction that they are able to expeditiously defuse, minimize, or eliminate some workplace problems, and create a workplace culture and climate that is conducive to that.

Preventing problems requires people/systems to analyze and predict the possibility of a problem: Risks are simply potential problems. Solving problems requires people who have excellent analytical and problem-solving skills. It is also important to integrate risk into resource prioritization and planning processes. The risk process helps the business prioritize the activities they are committed to resources in addition to serving as a cross check for anything that they may have missed or are doubling up on. It is also important to leverage Systems Thinking and tools for developing the forward-looking assessment framework which is able to identify risks and report to the board in a manner that brings about the right conversation and improve the risk management effectiveness.

Although Systems Thinking might slow down the problem-solving scenario, it’s worth its weight in framing the right problems before solving them. Digital business leaders today need to ask questions and facilitate dialogues and build the culture of collaboration to improve the effectiveness of problem-solving.

The New Book “Problem-Solving Master” Book Introduction


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