Reduce Stress, Not Innovation: Problem Solving and Decision Making

Recognizing problems

According to the dictionary, a problem is “a question to be considered, solved or answered; a source of perplexity and distress; a question whose answer is doubtful or difficult to find.” CMOE is committed to reducing the stress so many people experience by simplifying the problem-solving and decision-making process.

Problem Solving

Solving problems is the heart and soul of the manager’s job. The organization’s success depends on your ability to solve problems every day. Problems come in all sizes: there are major problems that can significantly disrupt the business; there are also daily nuisances that must be addressed. Regardless of the size or type of issue you are facing, CMOE can teach you how to logically think through the problem, diagnose it, and determine what actions to take to resolve it.

Working through the four-step process below will allow you solve problems more effectively:

  1. You must be able to identify and define the problem.

This will prevent you and others you work with from jumping to conclusions. Failing to create a clear problem statement can result in inaccurate decisions and the long-term cost of the time you’ll spend reworking the issue.

  1. You must thoroughly analyze the problem before developing a solution.

During this step, you will ask yourself questions to understand the root causes of the problem. We teach how to use effective questions like, “Who will be affected by the issue?” to create a problem profile.

  1. Once you fully understand the issue, you can begin to develop solutions.

There are several techniques to master when it comes to developing solutions. We teach managers to avoid the tendency to select the easiest possible solution when a different solution may be the best approach for the business over the long term.

Developing solutions requires the ability to brainstorm, collaborate with others, analyze the consequences of each possible solution, and draw conclusions based on facts. When possible, it’s important to test ideas and solutions before moving forward with a final decision.

  1. You must be able to develop a plan for taking action.

This requires communicating with others, gaining commitment, monitoring success, and making plans for overcoming any barriers or obstacles that may arise during implementation. There will always be adjustments to make, even after you begin the implementation process.

The Results

Having effective problem-solving and decision-making skills helps the organization in many ways:

  • It’s vital to the accomplishment of goals and objectives
  • It eliminates frustration and misunderstandings that can occur between individuals
  • It helps you prevent costly mistakes and the need for rework

Long term, it can also build cooperation within and across teams. Team members working for managers who can resolve problems before they become larger and unmanageable issues will have higher team morale. These managers are also able to encourage continuous improvement and innovation. Organizations that are good at solving problems are destined to prosper.

Learn More

CMOE has worked with organizations and managers across the globe to improve their ability to solve problems and make decisions. To learn more about how we can help you, complete a request form on the website.

About the Author

CMOE

CMOE’s Design Team is comprised of individuals with diverse and complementary strengths, talents, education, and experience who have come together to bring a unique service to CMOE’s clients. Our team has a rich depth of knowledge, holding advanced degrees in areas such as business management, psychology, communication, human resource management, organizational development, and sociology.