People Solve Problems Episode 1 with Special Guest Andy Carlino

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 07-06-23

In this episode, guest Andy Carlino and host Jamie Flinchbaugh delve into an intricate discussion on the complexities of problem-solving within organizations and the crucial role of precise language in defining problems and solutions. They emphasize the importance of a clear problem statement, underlining that without one, efforts to solve problems often result in unsatisfactory outcomes. They assert that an ideal problem statement doesn’t merely define what’s wrong but also encompasses a description of the problem’s impact and the potential value of its resolution.

The conversation evolves towards the dynamic nature of problem statements, emphasizing their necessity to be fluid and adaptable as new information is learned during the problem-solving process. Carlino challenges the common misconception that everyone in an organization should be equipped to solve complex problems. He argues that while not everyone has the capability to master complex problem-solving, all members of an organization can contribute to a problem-solving structure that’s tiered to match varying degrees of complexity.

The discussion also addresses the critical aspect of problem-solving: the necessity to have different structures and models to tackle different types of problems. Carlino proposes that having a differentiated approach for complex, simple, and “just do it” problems can help engage everyone in the organization in problem-solving at their level of capability. Carlino particularly favors the concept of “ideal state” thinking, which involves envisioning the best possible outcome or state to expose potential barriers and identify additional problems, which in turn leads to the realization of progressive future states. The episode wraps up with the two agreeing that ideal state thinking adds an element of inspiration and motivation to the challenging process of problem-solving.

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You can learn more about Andy Carlino at his website or his LinkedIn page.