Sunday, March 14, 2021

Interdisciplinary Problem Solving

The problem-solving masters are artistic scientists who can use their logic and intuition fluently, to solve problems systematically. They are also scientific artists who can connect unusual dots, paint unique colors to figure out different ways to solve problems creatively.

The digital world is dynamic, nonlinear, uncertain, and volatile, emergence becomes apparent, for adapting to changes. Technically, running business is an iterative problem-solving continuum. Problems today become much more complex than ever, oftentimes, problem-solving must be both systematic and innovative via multidimensional thought processes and cross-disciplinary knowledge and expertise. Organizations today need to achieve new resource configurations as markets emerge, build dynamic business capabilities to implement strategy smoothly.

Psychological problem-solving: Framing problems is the first step for solving problems. Perception gaps will cause the blind spots when either defining the real problem or solving it smoothly. People’s psychology is also an important discipline to gain an in-depth understanding of people, their emotions and their response to change and problem-solving. What is more interesting is what drives people’s emotions or perspectives, Either cognitively or psychologically, people all have anxiety or biases, awareness of them is important, many of such biases are apparent at the same time, sometimes complementing each other and other times contradicting each other.

In reality, people continue fixing symptoms but allow problems to grow under the surface, out of sight, out of mind, until they turn out to be fatal issues and become out-of-control. Many people have no energy or desire left to think longer term. Make sure that when you make decisions for problem-solving, they are not just based on intuition, emotion or opinions, but on reliable information-based analysis, synthesis and making progressive problem resolution. So the challenge is to create emotional states that mean certainty for the individuals affected, and have it stick. When that anxiety is removed and they experience more certainty, they have the courage to think more expansively, dispassionately analyze problems and solve them objectively.

Technical problem-solving: Information by itself is nothing if you do not understand how to apply it and make it useful for problem-solving. Technology is the means to end, not the end itself. So information technology is an important tool to optimize processes with the aim of solving business problems.

Information/Knowledge Management is the management with knowledge as a focus, including how to refine information into knowledge and business insight to solve business problems both at strategic and operational level scientifically. Information based insight helps to identify the root cause of a problem or the core issues of a situation that leads to understanding and resolution. It is about penetrating and often sudden understanding of a complex situation or problem.

Sociological problem-solving: To understand the complexity of problems, sociology brings much more depth to our knowledge with an interdisciplinary understanding of business, and even an entire human society. Thinking sociologically requires imagination and insight, to identify and explain social mechanisms of change and innovativeness. In doing so, you can create the collegiality and "shared context'' for learning, look at the problem domain holistically and apply digital principles to solve problems smoothly.

Venture capitalist’s problem-solving: Either creating a new business model or taking other business initiatives is for solving problems. Businesses need to make investments and improve return on investment. A venture capitalist’s lens enables us to understand that there are both opportunities and risks in every investment, making an objective assessment of their investment portfolio, identifying and evaluating investments in a way that solves problems with priority, drives enterprise value in terms that business leaders understand.

Problem-solving is a dynamic scenario, and involves problem solving and investment mapping. So the managers with venture capitalist need to continue to make an objective assessment of their investment: Are they diversified? What is the relative health (risk, value, strategic importance) of each of my portfolios? What investments, or even portfolios, should I direct more assets to? Are there talent gaps? What opportunities am I currently missing? How can I better communicate to and partner with the business to improve my portfolio’s value? Etc. The goal is to solve problems and make profit as well.

Philosophical problem-solving: Philosophy is a Greek portmanteau of the love of wisdom. Applying philosophical disciplines helps business leaders and managers to gain an in-depth understanding of problems more fundamentally and cross-disciplinarily. Without the ability to reason well, philosophy is no more insightful or useful than marketing copy.

In the real world, many people give lip service to this philosophy or that, but spend no time learning the rules of logic, proof, and the mathematics required to judge a valid argument from an invalid one. As philosophy comprises logic, aesthetics, ethics, metaphysics, ontology, and epistemology, etc, so it helps us solve problems with less side effects or even devolve the problems.

Biological problem-solving: With “VUCA” reality, what now has to be understood are the complex dynamics of the ecosystem within which the change is unavoidably entangled. A “biologist mind” that can dig deeper into living organisms such as organizations and the context of their environment (hyperconnected business ecosystem) will have an advantage in sparking creativity for problem-solving.

The ultimate goal for problem-solving is to shape a better world. In the meantime, our species is at a turning point that requires a significant adjustment in our evolutionary path. Wherever it may lead to, wherever it came from, an “biologist mind” that can dig deeper into such living organisms (organizations), and the context of their environment (hyperconnected business ecosystem) will have advantage in solving problems smoothly and managing such complex adaptive systems masterfully.

Never think there is a short list of solutions you can pick from. The problem-solving masters are artistic scientists who can use their logic and intuition fluently, apply a cross-disciplinary approach to discover patterns and put the misplaced puzzle pieces in the right place until the premium solutions emerge. They are also scientific artists who can connect unusual dots, paint unique colors to figure out different ways to solve problems creatively.


Post a Comment