Effective Problem-Solving Culture – An Overview
by Adminapollo | February 18, 2016
The success of every organization is dependant upon the people and the strategies they use to accomplish their goals. Perhaps one of the most important strategies needed for success is an effective problem-solving process.
In his book, “How the Mighty Fall,” Jim Collins points to hubris as one of the main factors in the failure of great companies. Our own experience points more specifically to the arrogant belief that people think they are already good problem solvers and don’t need any help. To overcome or prevent this hubris, we suggest you watch the Effective Problem Solving Video in the RealityCharting Learning Center™. As Socrates said: “A wise man is a man who knows he knows not.”
This video should be viewed by everyone in your organization, including top-level managers, whose job includes some kind of problem solving because it will help them understand the complexity of causal relationships and the principles that govern reality.
Start at the Bottom
In most organizations, problem solving is relegated to a few people, such as managers, supervisors, or subject matter experts such as engineers, programmers, designers, etc. Since most big problems are caused by small problems, preventing recurrence of the small problems should be a high priority for every business. However, since most people are not good problem solvers, and there are too many small problems for the designated problem solvers to tackle – stuff happens. To remedy this situation, we have created RealityCharting Simplified™, which anyone can use on any event-type problem and obtain a good understanding of the causes behind the problem. By adopting our Effective Problem-Solving Culutre Plan, RealityCharting Simplified™ is made available to everyone in the organization. It includes three very informative training videos that everyone should watch. It should also be incorporated into all procedures related to identifying and correcting deficiencies. A hidden benefit of using RealityCharting Simplified™ is that it teaches the user to think causally. People learn that stuff does not just happen and that by understanding the structure of causal relationships they can prevent problems from happening in the first place.
Strengthen the Middle
Effective problem-solving should include all stakeholders, but most problem-solving processes do not accommodate different perspectives very well and we waste a lot of time trying to convince others of the validity of our own perspective. To overcome this significant problem, RealityCharting® software facilitates the problem-solving process to create a common reality that all stakeholders can buy into. All managers and supervisors who’s job requires them to solve event-type problems should learn how to use RealityCharting® so they can effectively communicate the causal relationships of a given event. Please note that RealityCharting® can also be used to document the causes of your successes, so all stakeholders can know how to repeat them. Learning the Realitycharting process has never been easier. We have created an online learning module called RC Coach™ found in step 3 of the RealityCharting Learning Center™.
With the purchase of RealityCharting® anyone can learn the process in about four hours. To hone your skills and learn more in-depth knowledge about effective problem-solving, the RealityCharting Learning Center™ also provides exercises and a library full of very helpful articles such as how to conduct interviews, or find the best evidence.
The key to making this part work is to designate one or more problem-solving champions whose primary job is to facilitate investigations by creating a Realitychart for all major incidents AND to promote causal thinking throughout the organization by teaching and reviewing others work. Establish certified incident investigators who are first certified and then promoted from within using a mentoring process. The mentoring should include the prospective facilitators watching an experienced facilitator and working their way up to performing an acceptable analysis on their own – being guided and mentored by the certified facilitator. In the beginning, it is highly recommended that you work with us to establish a comprehensive plan.
Promotion from the Top
Our experience shows that once managers see the incredible return on investment from using the Realitycharting process, they demand to see a Realitychart for all significant events. By establishing threshold-criteria for when to perform a formal investigation, resources are effectively managed and problems are prevented from recurring. Because problems do not recur and more are being discovered and resolved using RC Simplified™, the threshold for formal investigations is gradually lowered over time, thus improving efficiency and increasing the bottom line.
Management can easily buy into this plan because all the tools and training are easy to deploy. By creating a culture where everyone in the organization understands the principles of causation and the key steps to effective problem-solving you will enjoy the success of your hard work and avoid the pain of failure.