Flex problem solving model-The Six Step Problem Solving Model

Personal Success creative thinking , critical thinking. When you are faced with a problem, how do you go about solving it? Do you let it overwhelm you or do you flex your problem-solving muscles and figure out the best solution? People who throw themselves at their problems often become frantic and confused. They take a haphazard approach to thinking, and then they are amazed when they find themselves floundering and making no progress.

Flex problem solving model

Flex problem solving model

Batsche, G. As more symptoms are found, it clarifies what the real problem is. Then inspiration struck. Evolutionary algorithms have won games of chess and solved huge optimization problems that overwhelm most computational resources. Analytical, creative problem solving is about creating a variety of solutions, not just one. This requires highly flexible thinking. Join us for these courses: Nov. Flex problem solving model, OH May 12 - 14, Speakers: Beckham Linton, Nancy Clements At this conference, gain evidence-based strategies to help people in every stage of life improve their social competencies; including self-regulation, social-emotional learning, executive functioning, perspective Stockings dhcp, and social problem solving.


Flex problem solving model phrases such as "How can I…? As this step continues, the PS group will constantly revise the definition of the problem. This strategy should have the highest likelihood of success. It can be tempting to consider solutions that you've tried before, as our minds tend to return to habitual soling patterns that stop us from producing new ideas. Try following the first step of the CPS process, and clearly identify the problem. This website uses cookies to give you the best and most relevant experience. This site teaches you the skills you need for a happy and successful career; and this is just one of many tools and resources that you'll find here at Mind Tools. Show Ratings Hide Sollving. While many people regularly solve Brunettes ru e, there are a range of different approaches that can be used to find a solution. The last step is crucial for establishing a culture of continuous improvement. NOTE: These settings will only apply to the browser Flex problem solving model device you are currently using.

Any new material offers both opportunities and risks to industrial designers and architects.

  • A great part of our daily work routine is actually related to solving problems.
  • This newsletter introduces the Problem Solving Model.
  • Creativity is incredibly important in problem-solving — if you're not creative, you'll struggle to understand the issues surrounding a problem, and you're unlikely to identify the best solutions.
  • Problem solving models are used to address the many challenges that arise in the workplace.
  • For more than a decade, the CPS model has demonstrated effectiveness with children and adolescents with a wide range of social, emotional, and behavioral challenges across a variety of different settings: from families, schools, mentoring organizations and foster care agencies to therapeutic programs such as inpatient psychiatry units, residential treatment and juvenile detention facilities.
  • Have you ever wondered why some of your students excel in math but seem to falter when it comes to solving problems?

Personal Success creative thinking , critical thinking. When you are faced with a problem, how do you go about solving it? Do you let it overwhelm you or do you flex your problem-solving muscles and figure out the best solution?

People who throw themselves at their problems often become frantic and confused. They take a haphazard approach to thinking, and then they are amazed when they find themselves floundering and making no progress. Here is a step method you can use to think systematically. With this method, you develop your critical thinking and problem solving techniques to genius levels. Instead of using the word problem, use the word situation or call it a challenge or an opportunity.

The more positive your language is, the more confident and optimistic you will be when approaching any difficulty. The more creative and insightful you will be in identifying creative solutions and breakthrough ideas. What exactly is the challenge you are facing?

What is causing you the stress and anxiety? What is causing you to worry? Why are you unhappy? Write it out clearly in detail. Look for the root cause of the problem rather than get sidetracked by the symptom. Approach the problem from several different directions. Brainstorm different solutions, because there are likely multiple solutions to the same problem, not just one.

What exactly must the solution accomplish? What ingredients must the solution contain? What would your ideal solution to this problem look like? Define the parameters clearly. Pick the best solution by comparing your various possible solutions against your problem, on the one hand and your ideal solution, on the other. What is the best thing to do at this time under the circumstances? Set measures on your decision. How will you know that you are making progress? How will you measure success?

How will you compare the success of this solution against the success of another solution? Accept complete responsibility for implementing the decision. Many of the most creative ideas never materialize because no one is specifically assigned the responsibility for carrying out the decision.

A decision without a deadline is a meaningless discussion. If it is a major decision and will take some time to implement, set a series of short-term deadlines and a schedule for reporting. With the deadlines and sub-deadlines, you will know immediately if you are on track or if you are falling behind.

You can then use your creative thinking to alleviate further bottlenecks or choke points. Get busy. Get going. Develop a sense of urgency. The faster you move in the direction of your clearly defined goals, the more creative you will be. The more energy you will have. The more you will learn.

And the faster you will develop your capacity to achieve even more in the future. You can solve any problem, overcome any obstacle or achieve any goal that you can set for yourself by using your wonderful creative mind and then taking action consistently and persistently until you attain your objective. Success is a mark of a creative thinker, and when you use your ability to think creatively, your success can be unlimited. Click Here! Solve Problems and Make Decisions More Effectively in Discussions With Other People Perhaps the most important thing you do in business is to solve problems and make decisions, both by yourself and with other people.

A major reason for meetings in the business organization is problem solving and decision making. The key to effective problem solving and decision making discussions, is for you to all go through the process systematically. Think About the Future When discussing a problem, be sure to focus on the future over the past. The effective executive uses this type of communication to focus on where the company and the individuals are going, and what can happen in the future — the only part of the equation over which anyone has any control.

Focus On the Solution A second element in effective problem solving communications, is for you to talk about the solutions instead of talking about the problems.

It is for you to keep the attention of the individuals in the meeting focused on the possible solutions and what can be done rather than what has already happened.

The discussion of solutions is inherently positive, uplifting and has a tendency to release creativity amongst the group. A discussion of problems is inherently negative, de-motivating and tends to inhibit creativity. You can become a positive thinker simply by becoming a solution-oriented person rather than a problem-oriented person.

If you get everyone in your organization thinking and talking in terms of solutions, you will be astonished at the quality and quantity of ideas that will emerge. Put These Ideas Into Action First, take some time to be absolutely clear about the problem that is under discussion. Give some thought to what an ideal decision or solution would accomplish.

Instead of focusing on the situation as it is, talk about the situation as you would like it to be. Second, keep the conversation focused on solutions, on what can be done in the future. The more you think and talk about solutions, the more positive and creative everyone will be and the better ideas you will come up with. About Brian Tracy — Brian is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development, including worldwide bestseller The Psychology of Achievement.

Brian's goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. Your Privacy is Guaranteed. We will never give, lease or sell your personal information. Here are 4 steps to keep meetings effective:. All Rights Reserved.

They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. This happens when a solution is determined, but a system or process to keep the problem solved has not been successfully adopted. We find that Collaborative Problem Solving approach is applicable to diverse human interactions, but especially those that can result in conflict. You can learn another 46 problem-solving skills, like this, by joining the Mind Tools Club. Sometimes it can take a while for all involved to feel comfortable with the process. Professional Development Institute Learn more. Then develop your best idea further.

Flex problem solving model

Flex problem solving model

Flex problem solving model

Flex problem solving model. Problem-Solving Model

The goal is not to solve but to evolve, adjusting the solution continually as new challenges emerge, through repeating the Six Step Process. Step One is about diagnosing the problem — the context, background and symptoms of the issue. As this step continues, the PS group will constantly revise the definition of the problem.

As more symptoms are found, it clarifies what the real problem is. Once all the symptoms are found and the problem diagnosed and an initial definition agreed, the PS group begins to explore what has caused the problem. In this step the problem solving team will use tools such as:. These techniques help collate the information in a structured way, and focus in on the underlying causes of the problem. This is called the root cause.

Analytical, creative problem solving is about creating a variety of solutions, not just one. Often the most obvious answer is not the most effective solution to the problem. The PS group focuses on:. At this stage it is not about finding one solution, but eliminating the options that will prove less effective at dealing with both the symptoms and the root cause. In the fourth step, groups evaluate all the selected, potential solutions, and narrow it down to one.

This step applies two key questions. This is where the previous steps come into play. To users and implementers, a solution may seem too radical, complex or unrealistic. The previous two steps help justify the choices made by the PS group, and offer a series of different, viable solutions for users and implementers to discuss and select from.

The group may use tools, such as a Gantt chart, timeline or log frame. The project implementation now needs to be monitored by the group to ensure their recommendations are followed. Monitoring includes checking:. Many working groups skip Step Six as they believe that the project itself will cover the issues above, but this often results in the desired outcome not being achieved.

Effective groups designate feedback mechanisms to detect if the project is going off course. They also ensure the project is not introducing new problems. This step relies on:. In Step Six, as the results of the project emerge, evaluation helps the group decide if they need to return to a previous step or continue with the implementation.

Once the solution goes live, the PS group should continue to monitor the solutions progress, and be prepared to re-initiate the Six Step process when it is required.

Overall, the Six Step method is a simple and reliable way to solve a problem. Entire states and provinces use CPS to provide a common philosophy and language and a structured, relational process for understanding and helping challenging kids.

CPS is a strengths-based, neurobiologically-grounded approach that provides concrete guideposts so as to operationalize trauma-informed care and empower youth and family voice. As applied to challenging kids, the model sets forth two major tenets: first, that these challenges are best understood as the byproduct of lagging thinking skills rather than, for example, as attention-seeking, manipulative, limit-testing, or a sign of poor motivation ; and second, that these challenges are best addressed by teaching children the skills they lack rather than through reward and punishment programs and intensive imposition of adult will.

Click here to watch video of Dr. Ablon describing the Collaborative Problem Solving approach. View Dr. This means that prior to focusing on the teaching of cognitive skills one must first identify the skills that are lagging in each individual child or adolescent. The precise skills that may be involved can be found on our Thinking Skills Inventory. The teaching of these skills may be accomplished in a variety of ways, but primarily through helping challenging children and their adult caretakers learn to resolve problems in a collaborative, mutually satisfactory manner.

Thanks to The Flawless Foundation for sponsoring the talk and producing the video. Sometimes it can take a while for all involved to feel comfortable with the process. Figuring out what skills a child is lacking can be a bit more complicated, however, especially if one is unfamiliar with the types of skills involved. As you might imagine, because this model represents a bit of a departure from the conventional wisdom, many people have misconceptions about the model.

Collaborative Problem Solving makes explicit that we really only have three options for how to respond to problems with kids.

Five routes to more innovative problem solving | McKinsey

Our mission is to help leaders in multiple sectors develop a deeper understanding of the global economy. Our flagship business publication has been defining and informing the senior-management agenda since Our learning programs help organizations accelerate growth by unlocking their people's potential. Rob McEwen had a problem.

The chairman and chief executive officer of Canadian mining group Goldcorp knew that its Red Lake site could be a money-spinner—a mine nearby was thriving—but no one could figure out where to find high-grade ore. The terrain was inaccessible, operating costs were high, and the unionized staff had already gone on strike. Then inspiration struck. Attending a conference about recent developments in IT, McEwen was smitten with the open-source revolution.

To the astonishment of players in the mining sector, upward of 1, technical experts based in plus countries took up the problem. The result? McEwen intuitively understood the value of taking a number of different approaches simultaneously to solving difficult problems.

A decade later, we find that this mind-set is ever more critical: business leaders are operating in an era when forces such as technological change and the historic rebalancing of global economic activity from developed to emerging markets have made the problems increasingly complex, the tempo faster, the markets more volatile, and the stakes higher. The number of variables at play can be enormous, and free-flowing information encourages competition, placing an ever-greater premium on developing innovative, unique solutions.

This article presents an approach for doing just that. By using what we call flexible objects for generating novel solutions, or flexons , which provide a way of shaping difficult problems to reveal innovative solutions that would otherwise remain hidden. This approach can be useful in a wide range of situations and at any level of analysis, from individuals to groups to organizations to industries.

To be sure, this is not a silver bullet for solving any problem whatever. But it is a fresh mechanism for representing ambiguous, complex problems in a structured way to generate better and more innovative solutions. Finding innovative solutions is hard. Precedent and experience push us toward familiar ways of seeing things, which can be inadequate for the truly tough challenges that confront senior leaders.

After all, if a problem can be solved before it escalates to the C-suite, it typically is. Yet we know that teams of smart people from different backgrounds are more likely to come up with fresh ideas more quickly than individuals or like-minded groups do. When a diverse range of experts—game theorists to economists to psychologists—interact, their approach to problems is different from those that individuals use.

The solution space becomes broader, increasing the chance that a more innovative answer will be found. Obviously, people do not always have think tanks of PhDs trained in various approaches at their disposal. Fortunately, generating diverse solutions to a problem does not require a diverse group of problem solvers. This is where flexons come into play. While traditional problem-solving frameworks address particular problems under particular conditions—creating a compensation system, for instance, or undertaking a value-chain analysis for a vertically integrated business—they have limited applicability.

They are, if you like, specialized lenses. Flexons offer languages for shaping problems, and these languages can be adapted to a much broader array of challenges. In essence, flexons substitute for the wisdom and experience of a group of diverse, highly educated experts.

To accommodate the world of business problems, we have identified five flexons, or problem-solving languages. Derived from the social and natural sciences, they help users understand the behavior of individuals, teams, groups, firms, markets, institutions, and whole societies. We arrived at these five through a lengthy process of synthesizing both formal literatures and the private knowledge systems of experts, and trial and error on real problems informed our efforts.

While serious mental work is required to tailor the flexons to a given situation, and each retains blind spots arising from its assumptions, multiple flexons can be applied to the same problem to generate richer insights and more innovative solutions.

Imagine a map of all of the people you know, ranked by their influence over you. It would show close friends and vague acquaintances, colleagues at work and college roommates, people who could affect your career dramatically and people who have no bearing on it. All of them would be connected by relationships of trust, friendship, influence, and the probabilities that they will meet. Such a map is a network that can represent anything from groups of people to interacting product parts to traffic patterns within a city—and therefore can shape a whole range of business problems.

For example, certain physicians are opinion leaders who can influence colleagues about which drugs to prescribe. To reveal relationships among physicians and help identify those best able to influence drug usage, a pharmaceutical company launching a product could create a network map of doctors who have coauthored scientific articles. By targeting clusters of physicians who share the same ideas and one presumes have tight interactions, the company may improve its return on investments compared with what traditional mass-marketing approaches would achieve.

The network flexon helps decompose a situation into a series of linked problems of prediction how will ties evolve? These problems are not simple, to be sure. For more on network analysis, see Robert L. Cross, Roger D. Martin, and Leigh M.

For more on the role of brokers in filling organizational gaps, see Ronald S. But they are well-defined and structured—a fundamental requirement of problem solving. Evolutionary algorithms have won games of chess and solved huge optimization problems that overwhelm most computational resources.

Their success rests on the power of generating diversity by introducing randomness and parallelization into the search procedure and quickly filtering out suboptimal solutions. Sometimes, you must make educated guesses, test, and learn. But even as you embrace randomness, you can harness it to produce better solutions to complex problems. We have crucial choices to make: generating more guesses prototypes, ideas, or business models or spending more time developing each guess or deciding which guesses will survive.

Consider a consumer-packaged-goods company trying to determine if a new brand of toothpaste will be a hit or an expensive failure. Myriad variables—everything from consumer habits and behavior to income, geography, and the availability of clean water—interact in multiple ways. The evolutionary flexon may suggest a series of low-cost, small-scale experiments involving product variants pitched to a few well-chosen market segments for instance, a handful of representative customers high in influence and skeptical about new ideas.

To the economic theorist, social behavior is the outcome of interactions among individuals, each of whom tries to select the best possible means of achieving his or her ends. The decision-agent flexon takes this basic logic to its limit by providing a way of representing teams, firms, and industries as a series of competitive and cooperative interactions among agents.

The basic approach is to determine the right level of analysis—firms, say. Then you ascribe to them beliefs and motives consistent with what you know and think they know , consider how their payoffs change through the actions of others, determine the combinations of strategies they might collectively use, and seek an equilibrium where no agent can unilaterally deviate from the strategy without becoming worse off. Taken as a whole, this flexon can describe all kinds of behavior, rational and otherwise, in one self-contained problem-solving language whose most basic variables comprise agents individuals, groups, organizations and their beliefs, payoffs, and strategies.

For instance, financial models to optimize the manufacturing footprint of a large industrial company would typically focus on relatively easily quantifiable variables such as plant capacity and input costs.

To take a decision-agent approach, you assess the payoffs and likely strategies of multiple stakeholders—including customers, unions, and governments—in the event of plant closures. Adding the incentives, beliefs, and strategies of all stakeholders to the analysis allows the company to balance the trade-offs inherent in a difficult decision more effectively. Making the relations between variables of a system, along with the causes and effects of decisions, more explicit allows you to understand their likely impact over time.

A system-dynamics lens shows the world in terms of flows and accumulations of money, matter for example, raw materials and products , energy electrical current, heat, radio-frequency waves, and so forth , or information. It sheds light on a complex system by helping you develop a map of the causal relationships among key variables, whether they are internal or external to a team, a company, or an industry; subjectively or objectively measurable; or instantaneous or delayed in their effects.

Consider the case of a deep-sea oil spill, for example. A source the well emits a large volume of crude oil through a sequence of pipes which throttle the flow and can be represented as inductors and intermediate-containment vessels which accumulate the flow and can be modeled as capacitors.

Eventually, the oil flows into a sink which, in this case, is unfortunately the ocean. A pressure gradient drives the flow rate of oil from the well into the ocean.

These efforts could include reducing the pressure gradient driving the flow of crude, decreasing the loss of oil along the pipe, increasing the capacity of the containment vessels, or increasing or decreasing the inductance of the flow lines.

In this case, a loosely defined phenomenon such as an oil spill becomes a set of precisely posed problems addressable sequentially, with cumulative results. When someone performs long division in her head, a CEO makes a strategic decision by aggregating imperfect information from an executive team, or Google servers crunch Web-site data, information is being transformed intelligently.

This final flexon provides a lens for viewing various parts of a business as information-processing tasks, similar to the way such tasks are parceled out among different computers. It focuses attention on what information is used, the cost of computation, and how efficiently the computational device solves certain kinds of problems. Consider the case of a private-equity firm seeking to manage risk.

A retrospective analysis of decisions by its investment committee shows that past bets have been much riskier than its principals assumed. To understand why, the firm examines what information was transmitted to the committee and how decisions by individuals would probably have differed from those of the committee, given its standard operating procedures. Interviews and analysis show that the company has a bias toward riskier investments and that it stems from a near-unanimity rule applied by the committee: two dissenting members are enough to prevent an investment.

And the more senior the sponsor, the more likely it is that risky deals will be approved. Raising the number of votes required to kill deals, while clearly counterintuitive, would stimulate a richer dialogue. We routinely use these five problem-solving lenses in workshops with executive teams and colleagues to analyze particularly ambiguous and complex challenges. Participants need only a basic familiarity with the different approaches to reframe problems and generate more innovative solutions.

Here are two quite different examples of the kinds of insights that emerge from the use of several flexons, whose real power emerges in combination. A large biofuel manufacturer that wants to improve the productivity of its researchers can use flexons to illuminate the problem from very different angles.

Or the company could encourage cross-pollination by setting up cross-discipline gatherings, information clearinghouses, or wiki-style problem-solving sites featuring rewards for solutions.

By describing each lab as a self-contained population of ideas and techniques, a company can explore how frequently new ideas are generated and filtered and how stringent the selection process is. With this information, it can design interventions to generate more varied ideas and to change the selection mechanism. For instance, if a lot of research activity never seems to lead anywhere, the company might take steps to ensure that new ideas are presented more frequently to the business-development team, which can provide early feedback on their applicability.

Decision agents. We can examine in detail how well the interests of individual researchers and the organization are aligned. What financial and nonfinancial benefits accrue to individuals who initiate or terminate a search or continue a search that is already under way? What are the net benefits to the organization of starting, stopping, or continuing to search along a given trajectory?

Search traps or failures may be either Type I pursuing a development path unlikely to reach a profitable solution or Type II not pursuing a path likely to reach a profitable solution.

To better understand the economics at play, it may be possible to use industry and internal data to multiply the probabilities of these errors by their costs. That economic understanding, in turn, permits a company to tailor incentives for individuals to minimize Type I errors by motivating employees to reject apparent losers more quickly or Type II errors by motivating them to persist along paths of uncertain value slightly longer than they normally would. Now consider the case of a multinational telecommunications service provider that operates several major broadband, wireless, fixed, and mobile networks around the world, using a mix of technologies such as 2G and 3G.

Flex problem solving model

Flex problem solving model