In solving, or even addressing (because sometimes we aren't able to fully solve), today's complex, and ever changing, business problems, having a solid grasp of the situation is critical. Tools like Strategic Issues mapping, the SWOT or SOAR, can also be used in this context, not only for strategic planning.
We also discussed the Five Ws in a recent blog post on Delegation. How can exploring the WHAT, WHY, WHEN, WHERE, WHO and HOW, support a better decision for the team?
One of my favorite visual problem solving tools is the Fishbone Diagram. Emerging originally from Japan and Toyota (I believe), the Fishbone helps us unpack an issue and explore it from the perspective of people, process, materials, the context etc. Once again is it is a very visual tool which stimulates dialogue and sharing across group members.
What other problem solving tools do you utilize as a team member? What would you recommend?
MindToolks has a very robust listing of more than twenty problem solving tools you can utilize - you may be interested in taking a look at them at their site.
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Author of Effective Group Coaching and From One to Many: Best Practices of Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)