Casse-tête (Frédérique Voisin-Demery/

How do we solve problems in work?

Reda SadkiLearning strategy

What do we do when we are confronted with a problem?  Problem solving begins when we encounter a new experience. We do this out of necessity, but also because we enjoy it. We also need to be able to solve problems fast. We develop our ability and willingness (including on a political level) to identify, analyze, and solve problems. We accept that tackling problems is painful. It involves risk-taking that may not be supported by the organization. Yet so much of how we learn and grow stems from such experiences.

We know that our organization does not necessarily recognize – much less reward – uncovering problems. We need our line management and leadership to support this willingness to tackle problems. Even with supportive management and great colleagues, in many cases we are alone in confronting a problem, if only due to resource and time constraints. Yet we know that our ability to solve problems depends on the quality, depth and meaning of our connections to others.

We strive to reframe our problems by questioning our assumptions and those of others. The way in which we frame our understanding of a problem and the degree to which we are open to re-framing that view depends on the context and the organization. Our organization’s culture and pressures, including time and resource constraints, may reinforce our reluctance to take time out to reframe, rethinking, and reconsider.

Photo: Casse-tête (Frédérique Voisin-Demery/