Rate your problem solving acumen, on a 1-5 scale. Is it lousy, mediocre, meh, good, or great?
- For starters, are you satisfied, fulfilled, enthusiastic, and proud of how you solve problems?
- Next, how satisfied, fulfilled, enthusiastic, and proud is your team of your contributions to how they collectively solve problems?
- Finally, what do you clients feel about team process and deliverables? Do you provide creativity and innovation or just the same old comfortable and mediocre solutions?
How we solve problems together is a source of either tremendous professional satisfaction or complete and total frustration. How can you move yourself – and your team – from frustrated towards greatness?
To move towards great problem solving acumen, focus on these three areas of professional improvement.
1st Focus Area: Comfort – Are you more comfortable targeting consensus-based group think to solve problems or are new ideas more of your jam?
Then take your team’s pulse on their own comfort levels. Moving one millimeter beyond what is professionally comfortable may terrify some team members. Alternatively, with the proper tools and facilitation skills, you collectively address your vision and fears, together. As a result, everyone acknowledges their own specific one millimeter they need to move beyond to get to where they really need to go, together.
2nd Focus Area: Complexity – Assess the complexity of the problem your team is attempting to solve before you dive in with your favorite tools.
After all, some problems are multi-factorial and continuously evolving. Other problems are unique, especially in the post-pandemic, global business ecosystem. Also, continuing to rely on yesterday’s and today’s favorite tools may result in tactical solutions instead of strategic ones. To create a robust portfolio while building great problem solving acumen, solve the real problems which need solving. Otherwise, you dumb-down solutions in order to keep team members, and perhaps clients, a little bit too comfortable.
3rd Focus Area: Fit – Are the right people solving the right problems with the right tools, together?
Sure you may be comfortable using group think plus the same old tools to solve every problem. However, what about the team’s composition? Do you rely on the same cast of characters or do you boldly mix and match skills and mindset based on the complexity of the problem? Otherwise, team composition can be unintentionally diluted and homogeneous.
- Instead, target a more diverse, multi-dimensional team.
- Keep everyone fresh, creative, and innovative: together.
- Collectively acknowledge skills shortcomings.
- Then contact hidden problem-solvers in your organization and create game-changing outcomes. Yes, these people may intimidate you, initially because they have different job titles, pay grades, levels of education, generations, and professional disciplines.
Choosing this specific, one millimeter mindset change often catalyzes greater problem solving acumen in itself. 😉
Before you solve one more problem, reflect on whether your problem solving acumen is a source of tremendous professional satisfaction or complete and total frustration. Then, let’s take the next steps to move yourself – and your team – from frustrated towards greatness: together.
Planning your next team, corporate or association meeting? Searching for a one-on-one catalyst to get you unstuck? Engage me to present a One Millimeter Mindset ™ program! Delivered virtually or in-person. Contact me here.
Babette Ten Haken | Change Catalyst | Purpose-Driven Professional Innovation | Cross-Functional Team Leadership | Trust-Based Client Retention | In Person & Virtual Speaker, Consultant, Coach, Author |
Babette Ten Haken, Founder & President of One Millimeter Mindset™ Speaking & Consulting, catalyzes trust-based, purpose-driven, cross-functional leadership. She leverages Voice of the Customer, complex problem-solving and storytelling to catalyze collaboration between professional disciplines and create more creative and robust business outcomes. Babette is a cross-functional, business-oriented STEM professional, qualitative Voice of the Customer facilitator, PMI-certified Wicked Problem Solver and Six Sigma Green Belt (Quality). She is a member of the ASQ, SHRM, PMI, the National Speakers Association. Her playbook of cross-functional collaboration, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. Contact Babette here. Image source: Adobe Stock.