Every person in every function of every organization is involved in solving problems. They show up in your email inbox, in meetings, in your own work. They are strategic and tactical, mundane and breakthrough, easy and difficult. Most organizations want to, and need to, improve their people’s problem-solving efforts, and so they offer them tools, templates, and training. Yet this is not where the leverage for impact is found. People Solve Problems: The Power of Every Person, Every Day, Every Problem explores the real leverage to improve your problem solving.
In the first section of the book, we explore the problem with problem solving, including both the value and limits of tools and templates. We also explore the marriage of problem solving and standards. Building on that start, People Solve Problems is built on four primary domains. After setting up the challenge, we start by exploring People-Centered Capabilities. These capabilities are tool agnostic, equally applicable to any chosen problem-solving method or no method at all. This includes a wide range of capabilities from creating problem statements to integrating intuition into problem solving. Next, we cover Problem-Solving Culture. These chapters outline the culture needed in the organization or the personal behaviors you must master to be successful in problem solving. The behaviors explored range from deliberately learning through problem solving to building transparency, vulnerability, and trust.
In the third section, we dive into Success through Coaching. Problem solving is unlike other practices, training is incredibly insufficient, and coaching is the major driver of success. This section addresses the why, who, when, where, and of course the important how of coaching. Finally, we explore the Role of the Leader, whether the CEO or a team leader, in building an environment where problem solving can thrive. The leader must be the architect of their problem-solving systems, a shaper of culture, and a framer of problems.
Problem-solving effectiveness is critical to success for both the problems you already know about and those you have not yet experienced. People Solve Problems will help you, and those you lead, to be more effective now and in the future.