Building Change Resilience - Be A Problem Solver

Be a problem solver

How does being a problem solver build resilience to change? Well... if you are a problem solver, you will see a challenge, not as a problem but rather a situation waiting for the right solution! If you see a picture of Mount Kilimanjaro do you think “Phew too big” or do you start planning a route, finding guides and getting the right equipment? When you are first presented with a change, you think what can I do differently and how can we benefit from this?

Here are a few questions I ask myself when presented with a challenge or a new situation:

What is the real issue?
Customers asked for longer branch opening hours because they wanted easier access to their cash 24 hours a day. So the preferred solution to the issue, was not for branches to stay open until 11pm but to install an ATM.

Who knows more than me about this issue?
Use lessons learnt or simply ask an SME, colleague or friend for support when trying to solve the problem. Don’t forget your line manger or team lead as a source of knowledge and wisdom. Everybody has a different perspective and set of skills that could help you see the situation from a different light.

What’s in it for the customer or for me?
If this question is not answered, very often the challenge may remain unresolved. There is far more willingness to address a problem if there is something to gain at the outcome.

Do I need to reinvent the wheel?
Sometimes small changes lead to big changes in behaviour. In the UK, getting authorisation from organ donors was a huge challenge until someone had the bright idea to add a simple check box to the driver license application/renewal forms. In less than 6 months, the hospitals saw an increase of 40% of willing donors.

Are the barriers a false assumption?
Assumptions help us to narrow down the focus of a problem but sometimes we can base our assumptions on false information or prejudices. Assumptions should be based on scientific fact, rather than what we think we know. It helps to write your assumptions down and examine each one individually.

Knowing how to solve problems is key to reinforcing resilience to change because it means that you have a flexible approach to every new situation.  A good problem solver is creative in their approach and is a good listener. You also has to think differently because if all the other applied solutions have not worked, this is where thinking out of the box will really earn you kudo’s and save you and your team a lot of time and stress

Let’s solve the problems by thinking differently

Career Centre – Problem Solving Strategies

Good Reads
‘Blink’ and ‘The Outliers’  - by Malcom Gladwell
‘The Mind of a Fox’ – by Chantell Ilbury & Clem Sunter

Share your story about how you approach problems and how you would use this to solve problems. 


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