Can you improve your ability to analyse and think?
Problem solving as a skill
o Origin of concern?
Leads to coping via FAPs
If you only have a hammer, every problem is a nail
o There is a better way! Lots of experience overcoming our habits
o It takes attention, curiosity, organisation, and discipline
o What is a problem?
When you don’t know the answer to something you want/need to know the
o What is analysis?
Goes back to Aristotle and Greek philosophy
Lysosome: cell organelle that kills the cell its in
o Emphasis on linear, specific, quantitative, and objective aspects of situations/problems
o Analytical problem solving (APS) is an approach and a complex set of skills
o Steps/sequences – why?
To avoid compression and ad hoc
Reacting instead of thinking
Mintzberg (1976) “the structure of unstructured decision processes” (“No
structure” is actually “unacknowledged structure”
1 – Identify issues (defining or clarifying the problem
2 – Generate alternatives, solution possibilities
3 – Evaluate and selecting solutions
4 – Implement solutions
The challenge: balance and integrate divergence and convergence process
o We start with a narrow view
o Problems always get wider and more complex, so we expand our approach
o We start narrowing our choices back down again to a final product
o Divergent/generative skills to convergent/integrative skills
Analytical problem solving approach
o Define problem or issue
Requires attention, acquisition and examination of rich data, and
images to “put the puzzle together”
Develop a problem statement
Is the problem stated objectively?
Does everyone has a common understanding of the problem? Is the problem specific in scope?
Identify desired state or goal
Describes where you want to be when issue is resolved – aspirational
o Measureable: enables accountability, effective evaluation,
identifying extent of required solution
o No implied causes or solutions
o Passes the “so what?” t