Friday, April 2, 2021

Solving Problems via Authoritative, Competitive, Collaborative Ways

You can't always wait for the "best" solution to emerge. It is important to experiment, explore, engage, and create multiple pathways to solve problems.

With unprecedented complexity and uncertainty, problem-solving today often has a very wide scope, methodologies, processes and practices will not be simple. It takes an interdisciplinary approach to peel back the layers to discover the root causes, and solve them in the right way. All stages must be handled with attention and proficiency to ensure long-term success. 

At the business scope, as resources and time are limited, it’s critical to develop an effective framework, set the right priority, assign talent, resources and time carefully and solve problems that really matter. Problem solving is both art and science. Here are authoritative, competitive and collaborative ways to solve problems.

Authoritative: Running business today is an iterative problem solving continuum. Within traditional hierarchical structures, mechanical command and control leadership and management mindsets and hierarchical structure appear to be the norm. Authoritative problem-solving perhaps makes sense as top business management diagnoses the root causes of crucial issues, authorizing the right talent to approach them smoothly. It is necessary in times of crisis when actually people are waiting for someone to take the front stage to solve serious problems, issue directions, and control the unfolding of the response. Discern the problem-solving style of the company by checking: Are all problems solved by the manager in the boardroom with the solution then given to the staff on the floor, or are staff on the floor involved and given a chance to offer their solution.

But being flexible is important, Over control perhaps stifles innovation. Control comes into play when one monitors the process to see it is reaching the desired vision which has a managerial element. If people only do what you're told and don't ask any questions, they could even become a part of the problem, rather than a solution. Keep in mind, command is a skill, not a right. It’s important to create a balancing act, enforce two way communication, collect feedback and solve problems smoothly.

Competitive: Competition, in and of itself, is not inherently bad. Competition between ideas and values stimulates creative problem-solving and drives social progress. High mature digital business can provide a more intensive and creative working environment to encourage healthy competition and get all the right people with the right capability in the right position to solve the right problems from right angles timely.

The real issue is the motivation or purpose behind the competition. The purpose of competition is to inspire creative thinking, and as leaders, you need to be more confident and conscious rather than threatened by growth minds or strong characters as more often than not, top talent can fix the problem in a premium way. Often time, either for the individuals or businesses, it is the energy behind the competition that matters. Good competition can catalyze innovation and progress, and embrace the open style for problem-solving -where all production floor suggestions are implemented.

Collaborative: Collaboration, teamwork, unity bring strength. The functional, geographical, or even industrial borders are blurred, people are encouraged to break down silos, seek out help, brainstorm fresh ideas, and co-solve existing or emerging business problems collaboratively. Digital leaders today must be able to foster a workplace that thrives on cross-functional communication, collaboration, and social interaction in building business competency and fostering cross-functional collaboration for complex problem solving.

A complementary team with differentiated competency always tried to be ahead of others but in a constructive way and not a destructive way to improve problem solving effectiveness. Initiate new conversations that galvanize inspiration and gain traction on a powerful theme of renewal and growth. It is easy to work alone and take the attitude of competition, but it is much more difficult to collaborate with different parties, even competitors to overcome common challenges. Collaboration becomes a whole lot easier if you give people time to hear what they have to say without constant distractions or unhealthy internal competitions.

You can't always wait for the "best" solution to emerge. It is important to experiment, explore, engage, and create multiple pathways to solve problems. Look at the problem from a different angle or understand the issues via multi-disciplinary lenses, solving problems really matter and solve them in the right way.


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