Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Illustration, Inference, Interdisciplinarity

People are the center of problems because every serious problem we face today are often caused by the wrong thinking, the wrong focus, the wrong values, the wrong assumptions, the wrong ends, and the wrong means.

We live in the world with a mixed bag of physical and virtual, new and old, truth and false, opportunities and risks, etc. Either running a business or taking a life journey is fundamentally an iterative problem-solving continuum. Problem-solving is about seeing a problem and actually finding a solution, not just the band-aid approach to fixing the symptom. 

Many problems today are complex because you need to take an inferential logic to understand the real problems and illustrate them well, take an interdisciplinary approach to solve them in a structural way.

Understand the problem that is being addressed:
A problem is a difference between an expectation based on vision or intention and the actual situation based on current reality coupled with a negative feeling. There are illogical problems or wick problems. There’s the problem that the same word means different things to different people with cognitive diffidence or diverse backgrounds. Problems have arisen because words have been taken out of context, twisted and used the way one wants. Understanding and articulating the real problem is important because ill-defined problems or misconceptions cause significant delay of effective problem-solving, waste time and investment, or even cause more serious problems. Some problems are the symptom; other problems seem irrational. Many problems exist because they either cannot be adequately captured contextually or they are caused by people’s emotional reaction to a set of the circumstance of events. Thus, clarifying and articulating the right problems is the prerequisite to solve them effectively.

Many problems today are complex and interdependent. Every complex problem can be considered to be a symptom of another problem. Some people can get the real problem effortlessly as opposed to others that can’t seem to get a grasp on the problem. It depends on cognitive abilities to preliminarily understand the extent of any problem or condition. Make extensive observations and investigations and ask thought-provoking questions, so you can gather adequate information by adopting a more holistic and inclusive view. Every complex problem is essentially unique. The existence of a discrepancy representing a complex problem can be explained in numerous ways. So there is a strategic value of understanding the problem and being able to ask open-ended questions that evoke responses to enlighten or illustrate specific issues.

Understand the root causes of the observed problem and how they contribute to the observed problem:
One of the critical problems in problem-solving is that, a lot of the time, the problem definition process is not implemented. Assessing and defining problems is usually halfway to solving them effectively. The assumption that there is a single cause to a "problem" in a complex adaptive business system is unhelpful. To dig into the root cause, look at the problem from a different angle or understand the issues via multi-disciplinary lenses, in order to get the “scope” of the problem, deepen the understanding of the issues by stepping back, or getting out of the box, in order to look at the problem from the different angle. An essential part of the 'problem-framing process' is to understand what your high-level outcomes are related to the issue, opportunity or problem. You cannot choose between alternatives without being clear about your desired outcome.

There are small issues and large problems, understand which of these root causes is being addressed. It’s an important step to identify, understand, and evaluate the opportunities in which important problems need to be solved, brainstorming helps problem identification and avoids “worrying about the wrong thing” symptom. see a larger system with interactive pieces and “conflict” goals; provide the deep insight into the emergent properties, and gain an in-depth understanding of emerging or existing problems. Cognitively, people are often at the center of the problem; diagnosing the problem from the mindset level is the critical step for digging into the root causes of many problems today. A logical problem-diagnose scenario that crosses all industries is to keep peeling back the layers to discover the root cause by asking “WHYs.” The deeper you understand the problem, the easier you could frame the problem, and the better chance you could solve it creatively.

Understand the proposed solution and how it is expected to address the root cause we chose to address:
Problem-solving is both art and science. It is about seeing a problem, discovering the root cause, and actually finding a solution to that problem, not just the band-aid approach to fixing the symptom. In reality, it’s no surprise to know that often the solution only fixes the symptom and even causes more problems later on. Some or many solve certain problems in a certain area but create other problems in the other domains. Multi-dimension and complexity are two key factors in the intrigues of large problems. There are no unsolvable problems, but there are complex problems that are those you cannot solve with given resources, knowledge and capabilities you have at your disposal at the time the problem arises. Solutions to complex problems are not true-or-false, but better or worse.

There are tactical problem-solvers and strategic problem solvers. Thus, it is useful to try and bring people to a better understanding of the causes and effects, particularly where there are mistaken beliefs that result in bad effects. Patterns play a significant role in problem-solving at different domains such as science, math, art, and virtually every creative activity humans engage in. In fact, pattern thinking enables you to capture profound insight into complex problems and apply interdisciplinary knowledge to solve them in a creative way. A healthy process for problem-solving goes between flexibility and hard process, to make a smooth transition from pursuing the perfect solution which does not exist to making continuous adjustment and improvement. With open-mindness and flexibility, two diametrically opposed parties sometimes end up working together on a solution that suits them both. The point is that humans should all have some humility and recognize the limitations of their expertise and partner them with the other experts to apply inferential logic for problem-solving.

Due to exponential growth of information and continuous disruptions, more often than not, those existing or emergent problems also become more complex than ever. People are the center of problems because every serious problem we face today are often caused by the wrong thinking, the wrong focus, the wrong values, the wrong assumptions, the wrong ends, and the wrong means. Every complex problem is essentially novel and unique. Even during the journey of problem-solving, shall you continuously check: Are you pinpoint the right issues? Are you doing the right things? Are you doing them the right way? Are you doing them well? Are you achieving the desired outcomes? Illustrate the real issues, make inferential logic and take an interdisciplinary approach.


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