We all have to solve problems.
Some problems are larger than others.
Some have bigger consequences, and others have smaller consequences.
Think about your day for a moment.
Is your car low on gas?
Did your 11 year old get holes in all of his socks from wearing them outside without shoes?
Was there milk for your cereal today?
Did your team member show up late again?
Is your department over budget for the quarter?
Was the baseball game for the little league team you coach cancelled for bad weather, again?
All of these are problems that you have to face and solve.
Often, our preferred way of problem solving includes guessing.
We have been conditioned to guess at the answers to our problems, and when the problems are simple, this can be very effective.
Think about it.
Have you ever listed out the possible causes of a problem?
Have you brainstormed solutions?
Have you developed a hypothesis?
But what about the hard problems?
In Nat Greene’s new book STOP Guessing, we are challenged to give up the guessing game, and instead develop nine specific behaviors of great problem solvers.
Nat specifically tackles problems related to systems or processes – not philosophical problems, or even problems or innovation or strategy. Think problems like a stubborn waistline, a computer that shuts down intermittently, or a troublesome relationship.
Do you have some hard problems in your life?
Do you want to take your problem solving to the next level?
If you want to “go pro” as a problem solver, you’ll need to learn how to tackle these hard problems.
“Most people try to solve problems using the knowledge they already have about a process, but it’s what you don’t know that lies between you and the solution.” (p. 14)
This book is not a problem-solving strategy book. It doesn’t even teach a specific method. Instead, Nat focuses on the behaviors that you need to develop in order to approach hard problems well.
The behaviors include:
- Stop guessing
- Smell the problem
- Embrace your ignorance
- Know what problem you’re solving
- Dig into the fundamentals
- Don’t rely on experts
- Believe in a simple solution
- Make fact-based decisions
- Stay on target
I’ve already started putting some of these behaviors into practice. It’s given me clarity and hope.
What kind of hard problems are you trying to solve today?
If you’re stuck, order a copy of STOP Guessing and begin your journey to become a great problem solver!
*Heather Kenny is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.