What problem solving solutions reside inside your professional toolkit? Do you have tried-and-true favorites that you use, re-use, and even over-use? How about some new tools for your professional arsenal to solve complex problems?
During my professional innovation keynotes, workshops and coaching, you and I explore how you solve problems: your own, your team’s, your employers’, your clients’. Because unconscious professional preferences can hold you back from getting everyone to where they really need to go, together. One millimeter at a time.
Are your preferred problem solving solutions too linear for the problems you are solving?
When that happens, solutions and outcomes fall short of addressing the real problem, as well as the problem behind that problem. A key component to problem solving is acknowledging how you and your team actually prefer to think about solving the problem.
Yes, it is easier to represent stages of problem solving in linear format (think paper, computer screen, back of napkin). Because your mind is used to receiving work within 2-dimensional, flat surfaces. So the problem ends up being represented as a straight line, or a 2-D issue with a series of jump-offs and what if’s.
Yet, are the majority your problems predictable, completely controllable, or entirely retrospective? Consider what really is going on in the issues you deal with each day in the workplace. You know: the ones which are uncertain, ambiguous, and extremely complex. These eat up most of your day.
Solving problems requires less linear problem solving solutions.
Think about it. Just about every problem you solve is a bit messy, isn’t it? Even if you choose to ignore that complexity and messiness or figure you will clean up that mess up later. Each day, a huge number of systems, models, and processes contribute not only to your own professional productivity, profitability, and innovation, but also to your colleagues’ and clients’. Often those moving parts include the human components in how you show up and professionally deliver.
Many problems you are trying to solve require non-linear models and processes built to better handle complexity, ambiguity and uncertainty. Where do you go for answers? Are you ready to take these next steps?
- First, draw that problem as a circle, rather than a straight line. Go ahead. Pick up a piece of paper and draw it out as a circle with various components. Why? Because when you draw a problem as a circle, everything is connected, rather than a series of discrete, linear handoffs between departments. You frame the problem differently when you represent that problem as a circle.
- Next, consider there are more people connected to and impacted by the problem you are solving than you traditionally think about. Then, think about that circle as a 3-dimensional globe. Grasp the true breadth and depth of the right problem you need to solve, one millimeter at a time, together.
- Then, take action on that circular idea. Learn about Wicked Problem Solving, specifically designed for solving complex, ambiguous, and uncertain problems which continuously evolve. The solution is about taming the problem by asking the right questions, the right way, so you define the right problems that really need to be solved. So everyone gets to where they need to go, together, one millimeter at time. As a certified Wicked Problem Solving practitioner, I not only am pleased to offer access to this program via my affiliate link to the fantastic PMI program, here. (I receive a small compensation.)
- Also, you can hire me to coach you and your team through the mindset, values, principles, and tools as applied, real-time, within your job function. Let’s make your ideas visible, actionable, and impactful: together!
Searching for a coaching catalyst to get you unstuck professionally? Looking for a meeting or event speaker focused on what is new and next? Then engage me to present a One Millimeter Mindset ™ program! Delivered virtually or in-person.
Change Agent | Collaboration Catalyst | Complex Problem Solver | Professional Innovation | Cross Functional Leadership | Speaker, Consultant, Coach, Author |
Babette Ten Haken’s One Millimeter Mindset™ programs catalyze people who solve problems differently to collaborate more successfully. Become more professionally visible, cross-functionally relevant, and strategically valuable as you create and implement innovative and robust business outcomes together. Babette is a 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: Project Management Institute, Wicked Problem Solving™ logo.