Canadian Business Culture and Management Skills
ADMS 3020 Fall 2011 – Professor Eytan Lasry
Lecture 3 – Solving Problems Analytically and Creatively – Sept 27
A Model of Problem Solving
- Step 1: define the problem
o Differentiate fact from opinion.
o Specify underlying causes.
o Tap everyone involved for information.
o State the problem explicitly.
o Identify what standard is violated.
o Determine whose problem it is.
o Avoid stating the problem as a disguised solution.
- Step 2: generate alternative solutions
o Postpone evaluating alternatives.
o Be sure all involved individuals generate alternatives.
o Specify alternatives that are consistent with goals.
o Specify both short and long term solutions.
o Build on others’ ideas.
o Specify alternatives that solve the problem.
- Step 3: evaluate and select an alternative
o Evaluate relative to an optimal standard.
o Evaluate systematically.
o Evaluate relative to goals.
o Evaluate main effects and side effects.
o State the selected alternative explicitly.
- Step 4: implement and follow up on the solution
o Implement a proper time and in the right sequence.
o Small wins strategy.
o Provide opportunities for feedback.
o Engender acceptance.
o Establish ongoing monitoring system.
o Evaluate based on problem solution.
Constraints on the Analytical Model
- Confusing information re: problem definition.
- Few possible alternatives are usually known. - Alternatives are based on what was successful in the past.
- Incomplete information.
- Costly and local research.
- Unknown preferences.
- Political processes and resistance to change.
Four Types of Creativity
- Incubation – be sustainable.
o Capitalize on teamwork, involvement, coordination and cohesion, empowering
people, building trust.
- Imagination – be new.
o Experimentation, exploration, risk taking, transformational ideas, revolutionary
thinking, unique visions.
- Improvement – be better.
o Incremental improvements, process control, systematic approaches, careful
methods, clarifying problems.
- Investment – be first.
o Rapid goal achievement, faster responses than others, competitive approaches,
attack problems directly.
- Metal obstacles that constrain the way problems are defined.
Vertical thinking – one language.
Perceptual stereotyping – ignoring commonalities.
Artificial constraints – separating figure from ground.
Noninquisitives – nonthinking.
Stages in Creative Thought