Problem Solving / Decision Making Cartoon
Effective and efficient problem solving and decision-making is a prerequisite for organizational performance and success. If any commercial enterprise fails to identify problems correctly or fails to resolve them properly, sales, market share, expenses, customer and employee satisfaction, profit and shareholder dividends can all be adversely affected. Similarly, if other organizations like hospitals, police, many government departments or fire services fail to identify problems effectively, the consequences are equally dramatic (sometimes in terms of direct and immediate human suffering).
Staff at all levels in an organization experience work-related problems on a regular basis. Some of these problems may be quite minor, such as the constant jamming of the photocopier, while others will be major, such as the decision to invest in new ventures at home or overseas. Some of these problems may be technical, such as a computer software bug, and others may be people-related, such as inadequate communication between two departments. Regardless of the nature and the dimension of the problem, all individuals should be able to identify and resolve problems, so that organizational performance can be continuously improved and new innovations developed.
Although all of us engage in continual problem solving and decision-making during our working life, we often rush head-long into trying to solve the issues that we face without fully appreciating the thinking process, skills and techniques that could be used to enhance our problem solving and decision-making ability. Some time and effort to investigate what is available is therefore well worth the investment.