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Dec 30

There is a solution to every problem you face

Tip I: "There is a solution to every problem." (Sudhril Ruparelia. Founder and CEO Ruparelia Group)

Tip II: Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. (Arthur Ashe. Tennis player)

Tip III: Andrew Carnegie was once asked what he would do if everything he had achieved was taken away and this is what he said "I would make it back in 10 years." (Andrew Carnegie, Businessman and Entrepreneur)

Starting a business or managing one requires efficient problem solving techniques from management. The most successful business and corporate executives are required to be great problem solvers in order to enable smooth day to day business operations.

Entrepreneurs with great problem solving ability are always capable of solving business challenges both on the employee and client side. All businesses are about solutions to customer problems. If there are no problems there are no businesses. All businesses get problems on an everyday basis.

In order to handle problem solving efficiently I excerpted a formula from the book “The Power of Self Discipline” by Brian Tracy that will assist in creating a credible business problem solving strategy.

1. Take the time to define the problem clearly.

Many executives like to jump into solution mode immediately, even before they understand the issue. In some cases, a small problem can become a big one with inappropriate actions. In all cases, real clarity will expedite the path ahead.

2. Pursue alternate paths on "facts of life" and opportunities.

Remember, there are some things that you can do nothing about. They're not problems; they are merely facts of life. Often, what appears to be a problem is actually an opportunity in disguise.

3. Challenge the definition from all angles.

Beware of any problem for which there is only one definition. The more ways you can define a problem, the more likely it is that you will find the best solution. For example, "sales are too low" may mean strong competitors, ineffective advertising, or a poor sales process.

4. Iteratively question the cause of the problem.

This is all about finding the root cause, rather than treating a symptom. If you don't get to the root, the problem will likely recur, perhaps with different symptoms. Don't waste time re-solving the same problem.

5. Identify multiple possible solutions.

The more possible solutions you develop, the more likely you will come up with the right one. The quality of the solution seems to be in direct proportion to the quantity of solutions considered in problem solving.

6. Prioritize potential solutions.

An acceptable solution, doable now, is usually superior to an excellent solution with higher complexity, longer time-frame, and higher cost. There is a rule that says that every large problem was once a small problem that could have been solved easily at that time.

7. Make a decision. Select a solution, any solution, and then decide on a course of action.

The longer you put off deciding on what to do, the higher the cost, and the larger the impact. Your objective should be to deal with 80% of all problems immediately. At the very least, set a specific deadline for making a decision and stick to it.

8. Assign responsibility.

Who exactly is going to carry out the solution or the different elements of the solution? Otherwise nothing will happen, and you have no recourse but to implement all solutions yourself.

9. Set a measure for the solution.

Otherwise you will have no way of knowing when and whether the problem was solved. Problem solutions in a complex system often have unintended side effects which can be worse than the original problem.

People who are good at problem solving are some of the most valuable and respected people in every area. In fact, success is often defined as "the ability to solve problems." In many cultures, this is called "street smarts," and it's valued even more than "book smarts." The best entrepreneurs have both.

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