Friday, February 23, 2018

The New Book “Problems-Solving” Master Introduction: Chapter V Problem-Solving Pitfalls

The business will be more successful when they realize that one of their greatest strengths will be their problem-solving capability. 

Problem-solving is both art and science. Even though you have a good intention to solve problems, perhaps lack of capabilities to define and resolve the real problem, just fix the symptom and cause more serious problems later on. Therefore, it is important to spend time on pondering what are potential pitfalls on the way to both determine the correct problem and solve it effectively. How to overcome the obstacles and avoid pitfalls to enhance problem-solving effectiveness, either individually or collectively?

Try to fix the wrong cause of a problem: A solution is nothing if the problem is not perceived comprehensively. Therefore, creating the awareness of the problem is the first step to making a solution being understood and accepted, and to realize “We can’t stay the same.” In reality, problem-solving in the majority of organizations today is woefully inadequate. Often, events and patterns are observed on the surface, and then the action is taken to fix the symptom which results from the actual cause of the problems. Until the underlying problem is addressed, the symptom will continue to return. So, trying to fix the wrong cause of a problem will waste time and resources, increase anxiety, reward mediocrity, and even encourage problem-creators. There is a shortage of effective problem-solving management which could be translated to the capacity shortage for both defining and solving the right problems.

Blindspots block the way for effective problem-solving: Each one of us has some blind spots, but some with more, some with less. The root causes of blind spots are the people’s mentality such as ego or bias, lack of knowledge or insight. In the business environment, blind spots are caused by silo thinking and homogeneous team setting. Silo mentality will cause numerous blind spots in talent, resources, processes, capacities, and capabilities. It’s important to build high performing teams with complementary thoughts, skills, and distinctive capabilities in order to fill blind spots, clear business vision, and spur creativity for either problem-solving or strategy execution. At today’s “VUCA” digital new normal, there isn’t always a right or wrong choice in any situation, and there are a lot of gray areas. Thus, it’s critical to challenge, debate, and learn the nature of each other through the aspect of dynamic and respectful dialogue to close blind spots and bridge cognitive gaps for solving today’s ever-complex problems.

Ignorance of unknown is another pitfall for problem-solving: There is known unknown and unknown unknown. Many problems are complex because you need to take the interdisciplinary approach to both understand the real problem and take the step-wise approach to solve them. Ignorance of unknown is the big pitfall for problem-solving. The “hard” sciences claim objectivity by way of structured methods and empirical practices for problem-solving; there’s also a philosophical connection between wholeness and "parts." Today’s digital workforce must have both open and growth mindset, keep updating their knowledge, enhance interdisciplinary understanding, deepen in thinking, in order to close the insight gaps and solve problems skillfully.

The business will be more successful when they realize that one of their greatest strengths will be their problem-solving capability. It's challenging to overcome barriers, avoid pitfalls, fill blind spots in order to master problem-solving and make a leap of the digital paradigm shift.

The New Book “Problem-Solving Master” Book Introduction


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