Problem solving is a normal part of leadership and life. Challenges are inevitable and how we deal with them always becomes a part of our legacy. People are paid to solve problems. If we act wisely, when we cannot solve them we seek out those who can. We all approach problem solving based on worldview, education, experience and the list goes on. There is often more than one way of solving a particular problem.
If you think about some of the times you were stuck in solving a problem you may discover that you were locked in one line of thought. Many heads are often necessary in solving complex problems. The wise King Solomon also said, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed. You cannot have success without solving problems. You can never be a successful leader if your strategy is problem avoidance instead of problem solving. Problems can be success enablers or killers depending on your approach.
People often fail in problem solving because they do not have the skill set for the particular problem, lack of resources, pride (in the form of a self sufficiency front). Another reason people fail is that they complicate their approach to the problem. Complex problems can be solved by simple solutions. The sign above is what actually inspired this post. Instead of them making five signs to warn motorists they made one and simply put “X5″ to tell the motorists there are five speed bumps. Putting up one sign like that saved them time and money yet did the job!
We tend to complicate the problem solving process by ignoring the obvious. You may feel stupid but the best place to start solving any problems is by asking the obvious questions. In coming up with the solutions, start by exploring your solutions in a vacuum. What would you do if you had to make the decisions without all the pressure of the moment? Complications arise when you add more pressure in addition to that of the challenge. You may need an inclined plane instead of a crane! Start with the simple things.