Strategic Problem Solving and Decision Making. Approaches for Bringing Strategic Focus to Organizational Problem Solving and Decision Making. “No problem is so large or complex that it can’t be run away from.” — Charlie Brown.
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Approaches for Bringing Strategic Focus to Organizational Problem Solving and Decision Making
— Charlie Brown
“There is always an easy solution to every human problem — neat, plausible, and wrong.”
— H. L. Mencken
“The most common source of mistakes in management decisions is the emphasis on finding the right answers rather than the right question.”
— Peter Drucker
Working by yourself . . .
Note: We’ll try to use some of the challenges, problems, or decisions you identify in today’s workshop.
an absence or void that remains until an appropriate response is found.
A problem exists in situations where an individual or group fails to find an effective way to meet or fulfill a need of a person, group, community, or society.
a choice made from among alternative solutions or options when faced with solving a problem, fulfilling an unmet need, or finding the best way to achieve a goal or an aspiration.
On your own . . .
As a small group . . .
1. Approach each problem for its uniqueness.
2. Define your purpose.
3. Explore the “solution after next.”
4. Use systems thinking.
5. Limit your data gathering.
6. Involve diverse perspectives.
7. Revisit the solution, the problem, and the solution after next.
On your own . . .
In your small group, discuss . . .
In your small group, for your assigned approach, . . .
1. Select and define the problem.
2. Define desired outcomes, higher purpose and measurement.
3. Identify potential causes.
4. Identify potential roadblocks.
5. Identify actions to address causes.
6. Develop an action plan.
7. Implement, monitor, evaluate, and revise.
— Malcolm ForbesU.S. business leader
The executive leadership group makes decisions and takes actions that run counter to the recommendations of frontline staff.
We’re not achieving specific performance outcomes or results.
Employees at every level of the organization aren’t meeting their quality and productivity goals.
How can we improve product quality and employee productivity in our manufacturing process?
Our new product rollout failed to meet our sales targets for three of the last four quarters.
New employees (ages 19–25) tend to express higher levels of frustration with the organization’s career paths.
1. Define the decision you want to make.
2. Define your desired outcomes, strategic objectives, and higher purpose.
3. Identify decision alternatives and options.
4. Select the best alternative.
5. Identify potential roadblocks/setbacks.
6. Develop an action/implementation plan.
7. Implement the plan, monitor progress, and revise the plan.
The decision to make . . . know too much about the problem.
The options . . .
The Must criteria
To be considered, the option MUST pass each of the must criteria
The Want criteria
Ranking the Wants . .
Adding up all of the “want” totals equals the overall value of the option.
Total = rank x value
How well each satisfies the want
Participation is important because
1. It increases the likelihood of defining the problem/decision correctly and understanding the context of the problem/decision—including the underlying causes—and identifying critical must/wantneeds.
2. It can powerfully and positively influence the level of commitment to the decision or solution in those asked to implement the decision or solution.