best practice this week: living it out

"What you are is so loud I can't hear what you are saying."

Practice what I preach. Keep all committments.

Why this Blog?

I started this blog for two reasons:

(1) To share my knowledge and experiences as a business consultant (Asia Pacific) & entrepreneur in the marketplace;

(2) Use this blog as an platform to exchange ideas, to learn from others and to further enrich our business experiences & personal development

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Problem Solving: Tried & Tested


I like to keep things simple. Life as it is has uncountable challenges for us each day. Those of us who are managing our own business, problems are never-ending. Keeping things simple, thus, makes life and business easier to manage.

I learnt primarily through observations, having a keen sense of curiosity and the courage to try better ways when I fail.

I’d like to share what I’ve learnt and tried with you. Please bear in mind the content I’m sharing is what I have used in my work and business. I hope it will be helpful to you as it is for me.

#1: Solving a Problem – What do you know about your problem?

“What’s the problem?”. This is the first question I will ask whenever there are challenges preventing me from my desired outcome.

Thus, the first thing I do when I encounter an obstacle is to find out or define clearly just what the problem is.

I usually define my problem by describing the desired outcome first. This will keep my efforts in solving the problem focus on achieving my desired outcome. It will also help you better understand the problem you are facing.

Then, I describe the problem using simple words eliminating ambiguities. I keep it short, sweet and easy for any reader to understand the problem.

#2 Solving a Problem – What do you not know about your problem?

When I have clearly and concisely described the problem, my mind will undoubtedly scan possible solutions to the problem. To help me think better, I want to find out what I do not know about the problem.

By doing this, I am actually identifying key questions and key issues regarding the problem. Further, I will uncover any ‘blind-spots’ to the problem at hand such as assumptions, biases and beliefs.

In most instances, I usually find resolution to the problem when I can satisfactorily answer the key questions.

#3 Solving a Problem – What do you need to find out?

Having key questions require me to find answers to them because it will help me solve my problem. To do this, I need to clarify what I need to find out.

This step is usually rather straight-forward if I have clearly identify the problem and key questions. I need to remind myself, however, to keep the items on my “To Find Out” list as relevant as possible to the key questions.

When you have gathered sufficient information on what you need to find out, the next step is to synthesize the information such that you will be able to answer the key questions. By this time, you will be very clear on what is hindering you from your desired outcome and come up with a resolution to the problem.


I hope this short post will be helpful to you. Let me know if you'd like to discuss problem solving further. I'm particularly interested in this topic.

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