Problem Solving Defined

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For example, you can't increase safety at a crosswalk until you hire more crossing guards.

And nobody will apply for the job until you can increase the salary.

True, the stakes may be very different between a chess game and finding a way to connect with local young people. But many of the problems and challenges we face as members of our organizations affect everyone in the group. And, as the saying goes, two heads are better than one - so just imagine what can be accomplished with a room full of dedicated people! Why are we focusing on a collaborative in this chapter?

But both can present a challenge that stretches us in the same ways. Maybe your group is used to doing things haphazardly on an as-absolutely-necessary basis.

So you work for months to convince people to join, and meet with some modest success.

Then, at your first all-coalition meeting, you find that members don't want to work together.For example, you’ve received a critical comment from one of your users/clients.The options for resolving the issue can be different depending on how you define this problem.And again, like any other process, skipping some of the steps will make the job more difficult in the long run.Here is a brief explanation of each of the steps, to be discussed in more detail in the following sections: As we said before, the world is full of problems, and some of them look pretty challenging, to say the least. Solutions that are well thought out and carefully implemented can work. The students you have recruited don't trust the police officers who have shown up; the police officers, in turn, pay no attention to the students; and an argument has broken out in one corner of the room between a few fundamentalist Christians and gay rights activists. You are halfway through your grant, and it seems that you haven't made any headway whatsoever towards your stated goal. Problems are a fact of life at home, at play, and at work.Unfortunately, problems aren't always isolated cases. They tend to be like onions - you peel away one problem only to find another, and then another, and you can't solve the problem you were first interested in until you solve a variety of related problems.If the solution found removes only the symptoms instead of the actual cause, then the problem is likely to happen again.Once the difficult work to identify the problem and find out its causes is completed, it’s time to show creativity and begin to “fantasize” ideas.Imagine for a moment that your coalition's mission is to encourage development in a traditionally poor downtown neighborhood.Your first goal is to recruit members, but you find a lack of interest among area residents.


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