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Cultivating a Problem Solving Mindset

  • By faber
  • July 12, 2016

A problem solving mindset is crucial in every walk of life. When a problem solving mindset is cultivated it brings the ability to understand the difference between actually solving the problem and, merely changing the nature of the problem. A problem solving mindset encompasses a range of skills and attributes which enables to find the most appropriate solution to implement, in order to bring about the desired change. As these skills are implemented and the organization gains confidence to use them, it becomes easy to deal with any problem that may arise, quicker and more effectively. As a consequence, it will improve the quality of the results that can be achieved in all the processes.

The following action points are vital for cultivating a problem solving mindset and can lay the path towards critical thinking process:

  • Goal identification: When an organization tries to solve a problem, it must first understand the true nature of the problem. Then, it must decide what solution to achieve i.e. what is the end goal of the problem solving process. Understanding the operational and organizational implications of the technology and how it aligns with the factory and its future vision is the most crucial element.
  • To probe and act consequently: It is listening and, supporting that listening with questions and reflections, with the purpose of gathering as much information about the problem as possible. In this process of listening, people may often get confused about something that they have heard or, they may wish to learn a little more about something which was mentioned. This is the ideal time to ask a question or two, so that the problem can be probed a little further.
  • To work on the solution which fits the situation best: Brainstorm a list of possible solutions. Different situations call for different solutions. Quite often what works in one situation, may not work in a similar one. Take time to determine what will work best for the problem at hand. It is impossible that a single solution will work for all problems.
  • Take action:  Implement the final solution. Every problem has a solution; even if it is to accept the situation and move on. Instead of approaching problems and challenges as insurmountable obstacles, it can be viewed as an opportunity to refine critical thinking process and problem-solving skills. Thinking critically not only helps to handle future challenges more skillfully, but it also supports to broaden the perspective.
  • Amplifying work output: With technological advances in engineering sector it has enabled manufacturers to deliver real-time information and guidance at the point of use. They perform complex tasks on the factory floor with use of simple tools like 5S and safety and others. These tools can simultaneously assess the accuracy and timing of these tasks, and notify the operator of quality risks.

Written by Faber Devna Chaturvedi