how to problem solve

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Post on 17-May-2015



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Outlines a process that anyone can use to solve problems. And if there is a specific outcome, there is a process that shows users how to work backwards to solve problems. There are four types of problem solvers, which type are you?


  • 1. How to Problem Solve By Avil M. Beckford

2. Table of Contents Legal Notices ..3 Introduction .. 4 Characteristics of Great Problem Solvers 5 4 Types of Problem Solvers .. 6 Problem Solving Process .. 8 4 Step Problem Solving Process .. 9 What Great Thinkers & Innovators Have in Common 11 Things to do to Become a Better Problem Solver ..13 Anatomy of a Problem Solving Process ..14 Reverse Problem Solving .21 Conclusion 23 About the Author ..24 Websites/Resources 25 3. Legal Notices Ambeck Enterprise Please feel free to distribute the presentation in its entirety with attribution to the author. Disclaimer And/Or Legal Notices: The information presented herein represents the view of the author at the time of publication. Due to the rate at which conditions change, the right to update this publication is reserved based on new conditions. This toolkit is for informational purposes only, in regard to the subject matter, and not intended as professional advice. While every attempt has been made to verify the information provided in this work, the author does not assume any responsibility for errors, inaccuracies or omissions. You should be aware of any laws which govern business transactions or other business practices in your country, province and state. 4. Introduction

  • Any successful business or life activity demands the ability to problem solve
  • E mployees who boldly face daily problems and challenges are worth more to an organization than those who passively rely on their supervisors
  • Moving up the corporate ladder depends on the number and complexity of problems solved

Ambeck Enterprise 5. Characteristics of Great Problem Solvers

  • Observe
  • Listen and hear
  • Get along with others
  • Secure reliable information
  • Look at whats been done before
  • Pay attention to detail
  • Take a break
  • Reflect on options
  • Trust their instincts
  • Adapt
  • Take decisive actions
  • Persistent

Ambeck Enterprise 6. 4 Types of Problem Solvers

  • After distilling 60 interview responses to the question, Describe a business challenge you had and how you resolved it four types of problem solvers emerged.
  • Inspirers
  • Reflectors
  • Innovators
  • Influencers

Ambeck Enterprise 7. 4 Types of Problem Solvers

  • Inspirers : They nurture people and relationships and have the ability to inspire confidence. Whenever they face a challenge or problem, people rally around them offering their assistance.
  • Reflectors : These problem solvers do not rush when making decisions, instead they take their time, mull things over for a while, step back from the situation to get a new perspective and then act.
  • Innovators : These individuals have the unique ability to come up with creative solutions to any challenge or problem that they might encounter. It could be an entirely new solution or the blending of two known solutions into something fresh and exciting.
  • Influencers : These problem solvers are expert at getting others to support their cause, and they excel at finding solutions to people problems that involve change. Influencers are great at getting people to buy in.

Ambeck Enterprise 8. Problem Solving Process

  • In his 1926 bookThe Art of Thought , Graham Wallas, the English political scientist and psychologist, adopted and expanded Hermann von Helmholtzs process to idea development.
  • Wallas describes a four-stage creativity process for generating great ideas preparation, incubation, illumination and implementation .
  • This process is ideal for problem solving because it taps into the idea of creative solutions rather than a one-size fits all template.

Ambeck Enterprise 9. 4-Step Problem Solving Process

  • Preparation : A period of study and fact-finding, which includes conducting research to identify what has been done before, interviewing subject experts and participating in any other activity of collecting opinions or ideas on the subject. It is time to take a break when you become stressed, bored, overwhelmed, or distracted, or feel that its futile to gather more information.
  • Incubation : Stop thinking about the problem andsleep on it . Though not consciously working on your issues, challenges or problems, your subconscious mind is busy working at connecting the different pieces of information to form ideas, and so creating something different and new.

Ambeck Enterprise 10. 4-Step Problem Solving Process

  • Illumination : When you least expect it, a sudden flash of insight, an aha moment where the new idea(s) to resolve your issues, challenges or problems will surface to your conscious mind and you see the light.
  • Implementation : The great idea(s) or solution that surfaces could be implemented the way you conceived it, or you may have elements of a great idea that you have to refine before you can implement.

Ambeck Enterprise 11. What Great Thinkers & InnovatorsHave In Common

  • Ability to reflect
  • Observation skills
  • Openness to experiment
  • Keep record of research
  • Impossible was not an answer
  • Open minded
  • Childlike sense of play
  • Curious
  • Voracious reader
  • Read/study broadly
  • Observe and collect facts
  • Independent thinking
  • Take breaks to reenergize

Ambeck Enterprise 12. What Great Thinkers & InnovatorsHave In Common

  • Total absorption in subject
  • Look at the limitations of old inventions and devise a solution
  • Modify present technologies for other uses
  • Ability to make connections between two different things
  • Have imagination
  • Have vision
  • Didnt reinvent the wheel - built on present knowledge
  • Ability to combine theoretical knowledge with practical skills
  • Paid attention to detail
  • Give vital ideas the opportunity to take root and grow

Ambeck Enterprise 13. Things You Can do toBecome a Better Problem Solver

  • Each day spend some time reflecting on life
  • Travel to places that you have never been before
  • Eat different foods, interact with nature
  • Take time to learn about another culture
  • Read diverse books and other materials and think about what youve read
  • Consider problems that you know need solving and work on ways to solve them

Ambeck Enterprise 14. Anatomy of a Problem Solving Process

  • Stage I: Preparation (Research/Gather ideas)
  • Describe a challenge or problem that youre having. Writing down the problem makes it more concrete for you. Make sure that your problem statement is not too broadly or narrowly defined
  • Develop a set of decision criteria to judge the quality of the solutions
  • Describe the root causes (not symptoms) of the problem or challenge. Uncover the facts surrounding the problem

Ambeck Enterprise 15. Anatomy of a Problem Solving Process

  • Stage I: Preparation (Research/Gather ideas)
  • Who do you know that has experienced a similar problem? If you know someone:
      • How did they resolve the problem?
      • Would that solution work for you?
  • Collect all the information that you can find relating to possible solutions
      • Look for case studies in your industry and unrelated industries
      • Conduct research on the internet
      • Interview subject matter experts
      • Brainstorm with colleagues
      • Conduct focus group interviews

Ambeck Enterprise 16. Anatomy of a Problem Solving Process

  • Stage I: Preparation (Research/Gather ideas)
  • Read all the information gathered and synthesize them
  • Extract all the relevant information by distilling the facts pertinent to your problem
  • Formulate options and test alternatives
  • This is the most critical stage for Inspirers, Influencers & Innovators

Ambeck Enterprise 17. Anatomy of a Problem Solving Process

  • Stage II: Incubation (Lay the issue aside for a period of time)
  • Take a break, or work on another project
  • Let all the information sit for a while
  • This is an import