Sunday, August 7, 2022


Uncovering issues underneath is crucial to figure out the root cause of problems in order to solve them thoroughly.

The business world becomes over-complex, and interdependent, it is challenging to fully grasp and accurately perceive what leads to problems and difficulties. Often, people have a tendency to try to fix a symptom that results from the actual cause of the problem.

Sometimes, events and patterns are observed on the surface, and then the action is taken to fix the symptoms. That causes problems to grow under the surface, out of sight, out of mind, becoming a more severe issue. If the symptom continues to return, can you clarify which underlying issues need to be addressed? How to solve real problems effectively?

Logic of yesterday: When problems arise, it’s usually best to pause and reflect before reacting, and it is so important to leverage quality information and practice multi-dimensional thinking processes for making logical reasoning. Usually problem-solving is based on ‘logic.’ Logic is based on information oriented reasoning with a set of induction & deduction techniques. The world becomes more nonlinear, both opportunities and problems expand across different knowledge disciplines. In addition, knowledge could be outdated sooner than what you thought of. Thus, the logic of yesterday cannot solve certain emerging or existing problems today.

Sometimes, there is not one cause, but multiple causes to some problems, some are visible, but quite a few of them are not visible, underneath the surface. Hence, the logic should be updated from linear to nonlinear, people should apply more sophisticated cognitive abilities to understand the emergent events and ever-changing circumstances, for deepening causation, correlation understanding, doing objective cause-effect analysis in order to frame the right problem and solve it thoroughly.

Ignoring unknown: Rapid change, complexity, uncertainty are the new normal, which makes it extremely difficult to solve complex problems. Either common sense or best practice have their limitations. Ignorance of the unknown (both known unknown and unknown) is the pitfall for effective problem-solving. Each degree of freedom is unknown. You need to think critically when you begin to focus and delineate the factors associated with the problem. Doing certain analysis and finding a way to identify uncertainty and quantify it to a certain degree is more of a challenge.

You will need to take a few steps back trying to get the real picture of what happened based on facts, consider the emerging trends with some unknown factors, and leverage information-based predictive analysis to figure out the next move. The 'hard' sciences claim objectivity by way of structured methods and empirical practices for digging into underlying issues. Besides hard data science, the soft science of communication and collaboration can bring up collective insight, put focus on quantifying the unknown to a certain degree for improving problem-solving effectively.

Underlying psychology: Lots of problems are caused by silo mentality, egoistic attitude or under disciplined behavior, accumulated into the significant issues that should be fixed urgently. Otherwise, it perhaps causes chains of problems later on. Thus, the psychology underneath problems need to be analyzed comprehensively. When people experience a state of anxiety or uncertainty, they tend to drift back to the comfort zone, make ineffective decisions or take unwise actions; when people are egotistical, their unconscious biases cause misjudgment . At times, when you only want to see things from your own point of view, often you miss the point to understand the underlying issues, explore the real problem as well as how to solve it smoothly. With negative psychology, misperceptions of people or things based on your own level of cognition, knowledge, experience are sometimes completely different from the objective reality.

When problems arise, it’s usually best to pause and reflect before reacting, and it is important to develop healthy psychology, practice multi-dimensional thinking processes to know the real issues underneath, in order to respond to changing circumstances and fix real problems thoroughly. How to make this necessary change in thinking into new ways of working together - and giving up the safe old silo culture? The challenge with problem-solving is to create emotional states and psychological perspectives for people to reduce anxiety, become more open to new perspectives and get more involved in problem-diagnosing-fixing scenarios proactively.

We all build a reputation as a problem-creator, problem-framer, or creative problem-solver. Complex problem-solving requires both multidimensional intelligence and emotional excellence. Uncovering issues underneath is crucial to figure out the root cause of large scale problems, in order to solve them in a structural way. In many situations, this will clarify the part you have played in the problem, and that’s a great place to start fixing it!


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