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  • Writer's pictureDr. Alan Grossnickle

Solving Problems

Business Meeting

Problem solving is a key element in all levels of management, as well as of many other jobs. Without problem-solving capabilities, no organization could exist for very long. Intelligence, common sense, and education help us to solve problems in our individual lives, and those same elements can also help us with organization problems. However, if you are attempting to do something complex, such as recognize the business or implement a total quality management program, you need a systematic approach to problem solving, a process that allows people at all levels to contribute to finding solutions.

The pitfalls of Problem Solving

  • Failing to involve the right people at the right time, particularly those outside the immediate group.

  • Tackling problems that lie beyond the control of the team.

  • Jumping to conclusions before truly understanding the depth or scope of the problem.

  • Failing to gather sufficient data, either about the problem itself or some of the proposed solutions.

  • Failing to “right size” the problem, people often work on problems that are too general or too large.

  • Failing to support the conclusions reached or the solution identified.

Business the Ultimate Resource, 2006, pp. 840-841

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