Saturday, March 20, 2021

Interdisciplinary Problem Prevention

Preventing problems is superior to fixing problems for us to step into the future confidently, understand talent with empathy and change the world effortlessly.

A "problem" is an opportunity waiting to happen. There are criteria that characterize good and bad statements of problems and opportunities. Any progressive change is technically a sort of opportunity management and problem-solving scenario. The prediction of the future is based on the analysis of the past. In today’s digital dynamic, every situation has choices, every situation has known unknown and unknown unknowns. Defining a problem is a half way to solve it, preventing a serious problem from happening is superior to fixing it. Good problem solvers fix, great problem solvers prevent. Multidimensional thinking, interdisciplinary knowledge, and multifaceted approach are all critical components for premium problem management scenarios.

Scientific problem prevention: Uncertainty and risk are inherent in every venture, information exponentiality and change is new normal. It’s all in what you do with the information that ultimately matters. The best information based prediction is optimal to predict risks, prevent or solve problems scientifically. Business leaders and professionals today need to see further than what all others see; understand issues from broader perspectives and new angles; it’s about applying quality data to forecast what will happen in the business, and take steps further, what they should do upon it, to prevent problems at the strategic level. In the operational context of many organizations, data is collected as part of important business functions such as sales/marketing, human resources, logistics, quality control, and accounting, etc, linking data management to the multiple business domains within the enterprise and their business partners will create a richer value return.

Know your information, then see what it predicts. The quality of data defines the quality of your prediction. The optimal prediction system should have the best results in different areas according to the specific or customized quality criteria. Ideally, apply the real time analysis model to predict the potential problems from happening and prevent or manage them smoothly, and make data more “visible” for shareholders. The goal of predictive analysis is to take a proactive approach to either capture the rising business opportunities timely, or prevent potential risks effortlessly, track actuals against the forecast with tangible results.

Psychological problem prevention: Change is never for its own sake, but for problem-solving. It means that removal of something old and familiar because change is an evolutionary journey. There is change you want and change that is forced upon you. There is disruptive change and incremental change; positive change and negative change. Some change is inevitable and another change is purely elective. People are often the cause or the very reason to change and problem solving. Understanding the psychology behind change enables the management to prevent or manage problems smoothly. They understand how to influence the emotions of employees and instill positive psychology, so people won’t create new problems. Actually they are empowered, intrinsically motivated, creative to take initiatives and they are well trained and supported to solve problems large or small.

There are emotional burdens in many historical problems, and sometimes there are full emotion cycles behind problem-solving, and it is the mixed bag of positive emotions and negative emotions. Great problem-solvers enjoy understanding the complexity, put themselves in a self-awareness position of experiencing/seeing/hearing all sides of a problem/challenge, they can develop their own level of skills to read between lines, listen to not being said, find common ground and initiate dialogues, turn around the tough situations, avoid unnecessary pains, to prevent or handle problems mindfully.

Philosophical problem prevention: Philosophy is the mother of all sciences and it is a Greek portmanteau of the love of wisdom. It comprises logic, aesthetics, ethics, metaphysics, ontology, and epistemology to solve problems cross-disciplinarily. Philosophy is also methodical and has deliberate processes for identifying questions, reasoning, identifying faulty reasoning, and thinking outside the box. A set of philosophical principles involves examining basic concepts such as truth, existence, reality, freedom to inspire people to ponder “right & wrong,” means of life, human civilization, interdependence and competition of the natural world and human society, etc. By following them, people can think profoundly and prevent some problems from happening.

Philosophically, there isn't always a right or wrong choice in any situation and there are a lot of grays. A 'problem' for one, is an 'opportunity' for the other; knowledge for one, information for the other, belief for one, disbelief for another, etc. Sometimes there is an obvious right or wrong solution to a problem which you have. But when someone else looks at the problem from their perspective, they may come up with different ideas as to what is right or wrong. Philosophy is the compass for us to pursue truth and a foundation to develop a multidimensional framework for schools of thoughts and inferential reasoning at the abstract level. So more and more people stop giving lip service to philosophy, but spend time on learning the rules of logic, proof, and apply philosophical principles to problem prevention.

Things are complex, people are complex, businesses are complex, and the world as a whole is complex as well. Problem-solving is about seeing a problem and actually finding a solution to that problem, not just the band-aid approach to fixing the symptom. Preventing problems is superior to fixing problems for us to step into the future confidently, understand talent with empathy and change the world effortlessly.


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