Linking Human Capital With Strategic Intent



The Path to Successful Problem Solving

“Life is a continuous exercise in creative problem solving.”
– Michael Gelb

A problem is anything that is currently happening that shouldn’t be happening OR Anything that is not happening that should be.

Problem-solving is really decision making

It is not enough to simply make a decision in order to problem solve. You must engage in decision making with a purpose and that involves:

• Proper awareness that problem exists
• Objectivity
• Listening and asking questions
• Time – setting deadlines
• Challenge
• Removing emotion and bias


There are seven steps to the problem solving process

1. Preparation – know what needs to be accomplished
2. Data Gathering – seek knowledge, ask advice (*you will never have all the facts)
3. Write It Down – list advantages and disadvantages
4. Give It Time – take a step back, time provides perspective
5. Implementation – act on it, no decision is risk free
6. Alternate Plan of Action – things change, have a back up plan
7. Follow Through – evaluate and make changes

There are more people good at producing short term results than there are visionary strategists.

Leadership requires us to be strategists

It is more likely an organization will be out maneuvered strategically than it will be out produced tactically. Most organizations do well at what they do today. It is what they need to be doing tomorrow that is missing.

Being strategic relies on freedom early, and structure later, not structure first. Testing strategic ideas is no different than any other problem-solving/evaluation process. The difference is in how the ideas get generated.

“To live is to have problems and to solve problems is to grow intellectually.” – J P Guilford

Developing Strategic Thinking

To develop your strategy thinking, you must first understand what impedes strategy. It is our own thinking and actions, and in some instances the organization and culture, but there are numerous elements that get in the way of our ability to be strategic in our thinking.

Strategic thinking is impacted by:
• Thinking patterns and narrow mindedness
• Being uncomfortable with risk, uncertainty and change
• Being too busy with today’s tasks
• Being more comfortable with tactical roles
• Having limited background in our roles and outside expertise
• Lacking flexibility and requiring structure
• By not talking strategically

Strategic thinking requires:
• Anticipating future consequences and trends accurately
• Broadening knowledge and perspective
• Being futuristic in thought
• Articulately painting credible pictures and visions of possibilities
• Creating competitive and breakthrough strategies and plans

“There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all.” – Edward de Bono


I hope you found this edition of Rick’sTIPS:  Creativity, The Path to Successful Problem Solving! beneficial.

I look forward to providing you with information that makes your life more productive.

Until next time…..


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