160: The 5-Step Strategy For Solving Problems
Published September 29, 2014
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    Do you feel like you are playing whack-a-mole, constantly putting out fires in your organization. Are others and you clear on the real reason for most problems? Today, a proven 5-step strategy that will help you define problems so it’s clear what to do next.

    Guest: Michael “Coop” Cooper
    Executive Coach, Innovators + Influencers

    1. Describe the situation

    There’s a lot of information in the situation that people don’t talk about.
    This does not have to take as long as most people think it does.

    2. Draft a problem statement

    The problem we’re trying to solve is…
    Find the simplest statement possible.

    3. Ask “Why is that a problem?” (REPEAT)

    Be aware of the thud factor and the pause.

    4. Is this the real problem?

    Involve someone else

    5. Is this problem worth solving?

    Will it save you time or money?
    Will it make your company/department more competitive/productive?
    Will this solution make your work or life easier in the long-run?
    Does this solution or solving this problem actually align with your company goals?

    “If I were given an hour to save the world, I’d spend 59 minutes defining the problem and one minute solving it.” -Albert Einstein
    Practical Action

    Pick 1-2 things on your to-do list and use this process and practice.


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    Next Q&A show is next week, episode #161. The topic is difficult conversations, but feel free to send it other questions well.

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