Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Variety of Solutions

For each problem that is worth the effort, we should ponder different value-added solution scenarios and walk through them from generalization to specification.

It is a continuously changing world and emergence is inherent in every venture of the business. Oftentimes, problem-solving has a very wide scope and takes an interdisciplinary approach that involves multifaceted disciplines and a multi-stepped process that includes both problem resolution and solution implementation. 

For every existing or emerging problem, we need to contemplate the varying causes behind it, as well as ponder solutions from multiple perspectives in order to solve it for achieving desired value.

Strategic solutions: Running a business is an iterative problem-solving continuum. The strategy is not about solving a single problem, but rather, a concerted solution to a multi-faceted strategic set of problems. Many problems today are complex and interdependent with interactive pieces and “conflict” goals. The problem is that often the top managers haven’t done enough to set the right priority and communicate the strategic goals thoroughly with employees. To deal with complex problems at the strategic level, business leaders need to check around: Which solutions represent the best business value in terms of achievement of the business strategy to bring up the great outcomes? What solution options are available that will meet the business need and which option is the best option from a strategic perspective to solve a multi-set of problems? Etc.

There are no unsolvable problems, but there are complex problems that are those you cannot solve with given resources, knowledge and capabilities. Strategic problem-solving usually takes time and planning, doing better prework - framing the real problems, defining alternative solutions, and setting the "success criteria," enabling consideration of the range of options. Risks and issues are associated with the solution, it’s important to project the strategic solution over a period of time and evaluate the practicality and outcome going beyond economic value or shareholder value, to include other forms of value.

Innovative solutions:
Problem-solving is both art and science. If strategic problem-solving is to laser focus on things that really matter for the long term business perspective, then innovative solutions help the business explore hidden dimensions of growth, harness cross-boundary communication & collaboration, and cultivate the culture of creativity. Look for creative, cost-effective opportunities to develop cross-functional teams for solving problems alternatively; bring together people who would not typically have the opportunity to communicate in the day-to-day operations.

Synergy and creativity can be helpful drivers for shaping a solution-focused culture. The management needs to ponder: What is the “best or most innovative solution” for the businesses’ requirement, offering added value and feature insight based on structural understanding, that the business might not even have thought of. Learning and creative problem solving is a deliberate mental effort involving disabling some of the old “wirings,” and making new connections. In practice, use an out-of-the-box method to identify unconventional solutions, and compare it to conventional solutions from economical, innovative or people-centric lenses? Have an advisory committee review policy, procedure, and communication within the organization to ensure solutions are designed to not only solve certain problems, but also bring up additional value and shape innovative cultures.

Personalized solutions: The digital era upon us is about people, option, empathy, or simply put, "personalization." Put emphasis on people-centricity and deliver “no-nonsense” solutions to tailor customers’ special needs and improve their satisfaction. Point out that customer inquiries are not only support related, but can also foster better ways to solve problems. Focus on information refinement and adoption, understand customers at a deep level, so you can design and produce personalized solutions fitting their needs and achieve the multifaceted business value effectively.

Providing personalized solutions to customers has become the new normal to run a customer-centric organization. Personalization is the process of making a company's products and services extraordinarily relevant to the wants, needs or desires of customers - physically, spiritually or emotionally. It requires consistently digging deeper and having both strategic and tactical level customer experience and personalization metrics in place that keep a pulse on the inner workings of the business. Communicate extensively, understand who customers are and their preference, you gain their loyalty, and keep developing great solutions to meet their needs, even unlocking their potential and they become the advocate of your brand.

For each problem that is worth the effort, we should ponder different value-added solution scenarios and walk through them from generalization to specification. Thinking holistically about a problem requires being close to the problem, understanding context and intangible variables, digging into the root causes, designing solution models, analyzing cost and benefit, and paying enough attention to sequence and consequence, with the goal to improve organizational effectiveness and maturity.


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