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Problem Solving Training Course Outline

This course will help you develop problem-solving skills. Problem solving is the ultimate life skill. We all need to solve problems. You will be successful to the degree to which you can solve your problem, (or other people’s problems). Problem solving is learning how to close the gap between the situation you have, and the situation that you want.

The course content was very interesting, some methods and techniques will be used in the future. The handbook will be useful for revision. The trainer's presentation was excellent, good time keeping and kept everyone focused throughout. Frequent change in activities and relevant examples were great.

Customer Reviews

Problem Solving Training - Morning

Problem Solving Training Overview

Introductions

Who are you? And what do you want to gain from attending this course?

Definition of terms. What do we mean by the word 'problem'?

A problem is the difference between two conditions:- between "What you HAVE now"; and "What you WANT or NEED".

What causes problems?

Your problems have four major causes:

  1. Yourself (your own mistakes, omissions or bad habits)
  2. Other people (the mistakes, omissions and bad habits of others)
  3. Poor systems (system failure / inefficiencies that cause you problems)
  4. Mother nature (natural phenomenon, diseases, disasters and bugs cause problems)

The first step in any problem situation:

Gather the facts!

Identification is the first step of problems solving.

You must first, correctly identify the facts. Separate:

  1. Facts from fiction
  2. Facts from guesses
  3. Facts from preconception and emotions

You will solve your problems with a combination of logical analysis and creativity.

Logical analysis and creative problem solving.

Break problems down into their component parts.

Defining the problem properly is the first step to solving it.

All problems have causes. Most problems have multiple causes. We need to identify the major causes that are creating and sustaining the problem. Each of the causes suggest one or more possible solutions.
We construct a problem cause solution map. Such a map would have this general shape.

Problem cause solution shape

Problem prevention

The most impressive skill is to prevent problems from happening in the first place.
This means developing the ability to Prevent Avoidable Errors.

Many problems are the result of people making avoidable errors; careless mistakes and omissions.
It is better to prevent a problem, than deal with a problem.
The prevention of avoidable errors is your first line of defence.

Examples of problems caused by avoidable errors.

Protocols and mindfulness in relation to avoiding errors.

Exercises to stimulate your problems solving.

We develop these skills by doing some practical examples.

Problem – three probable causes – six possible solutions.

Examples and Practice exercises.

You identify a problem and write the problem, cause, solution map.

Problem Solving Training - Afternoon

Problem – possible implications – pre-emptive countermeasures

As well as having causes, almost all problems have FUTURE IMPLICATIONS.

Meaning, all problems have the potential to create a list of secondary problems. And the secondary problems may lead to a major crisis.

This is the so called, Domino-effect.

Whereas the previous model (Problem cause solution) worked backwards through time to identify causes, this model works FORWARDS in time and tries to predict possible implications of the original problem, and then to figure out countermeasures that need to be initiated, in order to avert a wave of more serious secondary effects.

A problem implication countermeasure map would look like this.

Problem implication countermeasure

Exercises to stimulate your problem solving.

We develop this skill by doing some practical examples.

Combining the two processes.

We assume the following to be true.

Most problems have causes, AND implications. Therefore, it is good to combine both maps and solve the problem and prevent its secondary effects. The combined map would look like this.

Problem implications causes countermeasures

Exercises to stimulate your creative problems solving.

We develop these skills by doing some practical examples.

Think imaginatively and develop creative solutions

Many problems can be solved through logical analysis. But many others cannot be solved by pure logic. Some problems need to be solved imaginatively; creatively.

For example: Walt Disney created his empire through the use of his creative imagination. It was creative genius that produced The Sleeping Beauty, not hard logic.

Your company logo, company strap lines and the corporate image is a product of creative thinking.

Many business problems are best solved imaginatively and creatively. How can we stimulate the creative portion of your mind so that you come up with novel, unique, creative, imaginative solutions?

Think outside the box

The famous, “Think outside the box” puzzle:

Examples of creative problems solving.

Tips on developing creativity.

Exercises to stimulate your creative problems solving.

We learn by doing a practical exercise.

Make use of many minds: The Mastermind Principle.

You have heard the phrase: “Two minds are better than one”. The same is true of creative thinking.

The most profitable ideas are usually the fruits of more than one brain. The most profitable ideas are usually the result of many minds working in harmony to solve a shared problem. You need to know how to combine ideas, so the result is not from any one individual, but is rather the combined efforts of the team.

Team creativity is best achieved when the members of the team are working in a cooperative and harmonious way.

The MasterMind principle comes from the writing of Napoleon Hill:

“The Mastermind principle consists of an alliance of two or more minds working in PERFECT HARMONY, for the attainment of a common, definite objective.""

Tips for creating a Mastermind Alliance.

Examples of the Mastermind Alliance.

Who could you ask to form a mastermind alliance with you?

Profiting from your problems

Profiting from your problems

Remember that some problems are NOT problems. They are blessings in disguise.

We assume the following to be true.

“Inside every problem there is the SEED of a great benefit”.

Many problems, when seen in a different light may actually be a blessing in disguise.

There have been many examples of how a so-called “problematic situation” was transformed into a “profitable enterprise”.

For example: in 1968 Dr. Spencer Silver was trying to invent a super-strong adhesive, but he failed. His glue did not work. It was instead a super-weak glue. Rather than trying to solve the problem he simply called his terrible adhesive a terrific low-tack adhesive that would stick to things but also could be repositioned multiple times. From that, he invented Post-it notes and made a fortune.

His problematic adhesive was a blessing in disguise. BUT ONLY BECAUSE he saw the potential profit embedded in the problem.

Exercise:

How have you profited from a past problem?

How could you profit from a current problem?

Final summary and action planning.

The course content was good, informative, practical, with useful examples to add evidence to theory. The trainer’s presentation was clear and concise. I understood everything being presented. No questions needed to be asked which is rare!

Customer Reviews