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Management Skills - Creative Problem Solving

Right now, you are probably facing problems.

How did I Know?
Because we all are.

The question is: are you able to solve the problems that face you?

Or not?

Problem solving is the MASTER LIFE SKILL

Problem solving is defined as:
"The ability to create plans of action that will allow you to move from your current state, to your desired state."

A problem can be thought of as the gap that separates the situation you have, from the situation that you want to have.

So in order to solve a problem you must first become very clear as to exactly what your desired state will be.

To help things along, I want to show you ten steps to creative problem solving.

1. Get the facts of the current situation

Find out everything you can about the current state.

  • If your problem is debt: found out exactly how much you owe, and to whom.
  • If your problem is being overweight: How much do you weigh today?
  • If your problem is "communication problems with a colleague": Find out how many times, for how long and by what means you have communicated to the person in the last two weeks.

Do not guess.

Do not think of the situation as being better than it really is.
Do not think of the situation as being worse than really is.

2. Clearly specify the desired state

The next step is to specify exactly what the desired state would be.

Reduce your goal down to numbers:

  • If your problem is debt: decide how much you need to raise and by when.
  • If your problem is being overweight: decide exactly what weight you need to be at, and by when.
  • If your problem is "communication problems with a colleague":

Decide how you want your relationship to be, and by when.

3. Formulate the problem

Now you have two visions:

1. What you have.

2. What you want.Formulate the problem in the form of a question.

Start with the phrase:

"By what means can I/ we......"

  • By what means can I/ we......"Raise four thousand pounds by the end of October?
  • By what means can I/ we......Weigh 13 stone by the end of November
  • By what means can I/ we.....have a good working relationship by the end of this month?.

4. Identify the barriers or missing links

If you are unable to achieve your goal immediately it is because one or both of the following is true:

  1. There is something in the way.
  2. You are missing something you need.

List all the things that exist that are standing in your way.

What barriers exist that are preventing you from achieving your goals right now?

Take a pen and paper and write the numbers.

1.

2.

3.

Then list the three top things that exist that are getting in the way.

Then for each, ask yourself?

o Can I go around them?

o Can I ignore them?

Then ask:

What are the missing elements that are stopping you from achieving your goal?

List three main things that you are lacking.

Take a pen and paper and write the numbers

1.

2.

3.

Then list the three top things that are lacking

For each ask yourself: How can you:

  • How you can: Obtain them.
  • How you can: Substitute them for something equivalent.
  • How you can: Eliminate the need for them.

5. Break the problem

Break the problem down into component parts.

Take each element and treat it as a mini problem. Then take each mini problem and solve it.

6. Get the team together

Get the team together and brainstorm ideas.

If you cannot solve it today: get even more brains on the case.

Ask people who are qualified to work on the problem with you.

Get three good people together and you will almost certainly come up with a good plan.

7. After two hours of work, break off and relax

If that does not work Stop for a while.

Rest assured that your subconscious will continue to work on the problem and may supply the answer when you are mowing the lawn.

8. Keep at the problem

Keep at the problem until you have a plan that you think will work.

If that does not work come back tomorrow. Keep working on the problem UNTILL you have a plan that you think will work.

9. Derived a plan of action

You must derive a plan of action.

When you have derived a plan of action put the plan into immediate action.

Do not wait.

Put enthusiasm into your actions.

10. Your plan will not be perfect

Because nobody has perfect knowledge, your plan will not be perfect.

Your "solution" will create a new set of problems.

Don't worry.

This is normal.

Simply: check the results and start the process again.

Right now, you are probably facing problems:

  1. Get the facts of the current situation
  2. Clearly specify the desired state
  3. Formulate the problem in the form of a question
  4. Identify the barriers or missing links
  5. Break the problem down into component parts
  6. Get the team together
  7. After two hours of work, break off and relax
  8. Keep at the problem
  9. Derived a plan of action
  10. Your plan will not be perfect

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