Decision making is choosing one of multiple proposed solutions — therefore, this process also includes defining and evaluating all potential options.
Decision making is often one step of the problem solving process, but the two concepts are distinct.
“Problems and conflicts occur in all groups and teams in the workplace, but if leaders involve everyone in working through, they will foster cohesion, engagement, and buy in.
Everybody wins.” Although problem solving techniques vary procedurally, experts agree that the first step in solving a problem is defining the problem.
Bryan Mattimore is Co-Founder of Growth Engine, an 18-year old innovation agency based in Norwalk, CT.
Bryan has facilitated over 1,000 ideation sessions and managed over 200 successful innovation projects leading to over billion in new sales. When asked about the first critical component to successful problem solving, Mattimore says, “Defining the challenge correctly, or ‘solving the right problem’ …
Mattimore expands on this idea: “The seven key skills to be an effective creative problem solver that I detail in my book are: 1) curiosity 2) openness 3) a willingness to embrace ambiguity 4) the ability to identify and transfer principles across categories and disciplines 5) the desire to search for integrity in ideas, 6) the ability to trust and exercise “knowingness” and 7) the ability to envision new worlds (think Dr.
Seuss, Star Wars, Hunger Games, Harry Potter, etc.).”“As an individual contributor to problem solving it is important to exercise our curiosity, questioning, and visioning abilities,” advises Carella.
Problem solving, especially in business, is a complicated science.
Not only are business conflicts multifaceted, but they often involve different personalities, levels of authority, and group dynamics.