“I’m not afraid of problem-solving. There is always a way.”

– Hanneli Mustaparta, Professional Photographer

Problem Solving Defined

The English Oxford Dictionary defines problem-solve as “to find a solution to a difficult or complex question or situation; to engage in the actions or thoughts necessary to discover solutions to problems”.

Why Team Problem Solving is Critical to Businesses

Why is team problem solving important to businesses? We highlight several reasons:

  1. Problems exist in every workplace.
  2. Working together as a team to identify and implement viable solutions is critical to business success.
  3. Solving problems requires a commitment to communication, learning and having an open mind.

Reasons for Team Problem Solving Struggles

Why do businesses struggle with problem solving and decision making at a team level? We would like to highlight several that we’ve seen in working with clients and through conducting extensive research:

  • Personal challenges: egos; fear of failure; lack of team balance or alignment; fixed mindsets; excessive workloads and competing priorities
  • Group dynamics challenges: groupthink; power struggles; analysis paralysis in decision making; miscommunication, or lack thereof
  • Cultural/business challenges: competing organizational priorities; lack of decision-makers present; available time/money/resources; sustainability challenges

You’re either part of the solution or you’re part of the problem.

– Eldridge Cleaver, American Activist

Introduction to Three C’s of Team Problem Solving

We have a three-part framework to problem solving that was designed to combat the challenges highlighted above.

Collaboration: Work together to clearly articulate (define) the problem

Consensus: Determine the desired method/approach/plan to resolve the problem

Communication: Disseminate information to those involved in the method/approach/plan

Click here to view keys to implementing each “C” with your team.

It’s critical to take into account challenges posed by individual team members, group dynamics and the organization, and tackle those as appropriate. Doing so will help you more effectively tackle problems and make decisions that move your business forward in a positive direction.

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