Sunday, August 8, 2021

Interdisciplinary Problem-Solving

The more effortlessly you can brainstorm potential "grade" or "range" solutions by reinforcing coherence, consolidating and integrating ideas, the closer you can solve crucial problems and accelerate performance consistently.

We are experiencing major societal transformation from the industrial machine age to knowledge and creative economy. Upon such a paradigm shift, we are experiencing at the moment, with the new characteristics such as hyper-connectivity, interdependence, over-complexity, and super variety of the world we live in. It’s important to provide guidance for problem-solving, breaking down something old, creating something new through a holistic worldview underlying the interdisciplinary theories and methodology, experiment, explore, and engage for achieving people-centricity.

Update the “divide and conquer” methodologies: There is more computing power, greater connectivity, and huge potential empowerment of the workforce today. If you continue getting stuck at the silo, and practice the outdated practices or methods to solve problems, that perhaps causes more issues or side effects later on. Running a well-established corporation is about taking care of problems at both strategic and tactical level by following the vision through cross-boundary collaboration consistently and continually. To keep evolving and investing in the greater purpose or vision, every department in the company needs to work together to be successful. Good managers spend time on improving operational excellence. Great leaders can both focus on what they do and keep their eye on the bigger picture as well. They proactively break down old school silos of thoughts; break down the old school of reductionistic management discipline; break down the outdated processes/knowledge/technology, set the proper guidelines and integrated processes, keep information flow with verification, encourage cross-functional communication and collaboration.

Contemporary organizations arise when the scale of the interrelations, interactions, and collaborations amplify the collective business competency to achieve better than expected business performance. To solve problems holistically and avoid creating gaps or bottlenecks, the management needs to update the “divide & conquer” methods, more focus on “unify and harmonize.” There needs to have enough central control to achieve coordination toward the large-system goals, and enough autonomy to keep all subsystems flourishing, and functioning for achieving high-performance results. People are problem-solving masters. The management needs to ensure that the teams are embracing cross-functional collaboration and taking customer-centric efforts by pulling in the same direction to solve complex problems stepwisely .

Don't over-categorize and try not to fixate on single narratives: We live in such a complex world with all sorts of old and new, physical and virtual, order and chaos, it’s important to spark creativity and encourage critical thinking to embrace different perspectives and foresee the future multidimensionally. You don’t need to agree completely with the other side's viewpoint, but you can always gain empathy, insight, and a new perspective to see things from the other angle. You can only know what you know, but there are more dimensions which you don’t know. It is also important to observe the problem-solving scenarios, don’t over-categorize, more often than not, you need to recategorize or reclassify, help business customers and partners gain open perspectives on the issues, close perception and collaboration gaps. It’s important to design nonlinear models for predictive cause and effect in system dynamics, understand motivation drivers, understand how everyone is integrated into the solution, understand and differentiate the results.

In practice, when people decide together to change something and solve problems, they don't look first for the negatives; they see the positives, vision, goals, and benefits. "Business problems" are usually difficult, part of the difficulty is that businesses often try to use decision-making processes to define the problem, and in doing so often fail to really define the problem. Try not to fixate on single narratives but listen to more feedback and diverse opinions. Scenarios do not predict the future but help decide what to do now in order to shape it. Categorize your own flavor and decompose; create an end to end set of problem-solving scenarios; conduct a fit/gap analysis of capability vs requirements; and fill the gap with big transitions. Business leaders need to be proactive, proficient, and progressive, coming up with their everyday narratives, deepen their thought processes, practice multifaceted management disciplines, and take the structural approach to drill down all critical success factors for handling problems effectively.

Find the factors involved in the final incorrect outcome: Multi-dimension and complexity are two key factors in the intrigues of large problems. Trying to fix the wrong cause of a problem will waste talent, time, and resources, increase anxiety, and cause chaos. It is important to keep track of the outcome of problem-solving. Systems Taking a systematic approach to measurement can avoid blind-spots in problem-solving. See if you can measure or weigh each factor's contribution to the result, or the description of the unit of measure. The management needs to do the check-up: Has the problem been fixed permanently? Does the solution cause any side effects, or cause more serious issues later on? The evaluation of problem-solving is to ensure the real problems have been fixed and cause the least side effect possible.

Thinking in diagnosing and problem-solving is a strategic imperative. It is important to keep track of the outcome of problem-solving. 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. Having the appropriate performance indicators is very important. And acting on what those indicators are telling you is vital to sustaining and improving problem-solving capability. Solutions to complex problems are not true-or-false, but better or worse. Good problem-solvers are flexible to share the “right” things with others, also be open to “wrongs,” not necessarily real wrong, perhaps the complementary viewpoint for enforcing creative problem-solving and achieve better results. Effective measurement enables people to evaluate processes/methods/practices for improving problem-solving maturity.

We still have to handle many of the existing or emerging global problems prevailing due to frequent changes and disruptions. A new paradigm is an emerging ecosystem of principles, policies, and practices that enable businesses to align, integrate, and optimize the important business factors inside an organization, to figure out premium problem-solving scenarios. The more effortlessly you can brainstorm potential "grade" or "range" solutions by reinforcing coherence, consolidating and integrating ideas, the closer you can solve crucial problems and accelerate performance consistently.


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