On course for success

Innovative Problem Solving And Decision Making For Managers


Problem solving is the art of finding ways to get from where you are to where you want to be. The problem, therefore is the gap between the present situation and a more desirable one. Problem solving includes the creation and exploitation of opportunities, as well as overcoming the operational problems and unsatisfactory situations you face on a day to day basis. Most of the previous generation problem solving courses are based on the assumption that we need to identify root causes of problems and then take remedial action to restore the status quo. A linear thought process is applied to fix problems and to make “rational” choices.

Today we know that this approach is not going to be effective in all instances. We need a process of problem solving and making choices suitable for a world of change. New thinking skills and patterns must be adopted to enable thinking “out of the box” and understanding systems thinking. In other words problem solvers must have an appreciation of the possible impact of their actions on the organisation as a whole and must   “see” the bigger picture.

Programme Outline

Module 1 – Innovation

  • Understanding innovation
  • Creating an Innovation Culture
  • Dimension of an Innovative Culture
  • Leadership and Innovation
  • Management Role in Innovation
  • Motivation and Innovation
  • Project Workbook: Module 1

Module 2 – Facilitating Innovative Problem Solving

  • Attributes of a Successful Facilitator
  • Understanding Team Dynamics
  • Diversity and Innovation
  • Avoiding Groupthink
  • The 6 Thinking Hats

Module 3 – Understanding and Defining the Problem

  • Understanding Innovative Problem Solving
  • The 5 Pitfalls that hinder innovative problem solving
  • Gathering information pertinent to the problem
  • Understanding the Problem
  • Analytical Tools and Techniques (Cause and Effect, 5 Whys and Process Questioning)
  • Defining the Problem Statement

Module 4 – Discover Many Possible Solutions

  • Divergent and Convergent Thinking
  • Basic Brainstorming
  • Variations of Barinstorming
  • Pattern Breaking Thiniking
  • Generating Solutions

Module 5 – Choosing the Right Innovative Solution

  • Developing criteria to evaluate solutions
  • Analysing potential problems to implementing solutions
  • Using SWOT to evaluate solutions
  • Using the Desicion Criteria Matrix Process
  • Doing a risk assessment of the selected solution
  • Managing the Risk Involved in the selected solution

Module 6 – Implementing your Innovative Solution

  • Identifying Tasks and Resources
  • Creating an Implementation Plan
  • Evaluating Effectiveness of Plan
  • Creating an Improvement Plan
  • Evaluating Improvement Efforts
  • Formalizing Solution as a Standard Operating Procedure

Experts’ Profile

Sanjay Mehta is a facilitator, coach and consultant with almost 20 years of career experience mostly in IT industry, leading businesses and teams locally, regionally in Asia and also in USA. His years in the IT field saw him work for one of the world’s    largest software companies, Microsoft. Areas of expertise include Business Management and Operations, Readiness Management including Training Development and Delivery, Program and Project Management, Change Management, Customer and Call Centre Support, Account Management, Consulting, Technical Sales and Systems Management.

He built teams from scratch and provided the leadership for their high performance. He turned around the field’s negative impression of his business operations team within 3 months of start up and achieved 100% accuracy in revenue recognition, data integrity and compliance.

Complementing his roles, he has a wide profile of training and coaching experience in IT, Customer Services, Leadership and  Management, etc – covering all levels of the organization. He has always had strong passion for learning and made it a high priority in all his roles. He attributes much of the success of his teams, programs and projects to the people involved and believe that people will reach their potential giving sufficient training, coaching, development opportunities, motivation and good feedback to do their jobs effectively.

He is certified in the Advanced Certificate in Training and Assessment (ACTA) from the Workforce Development Authority (WDA) and conducts trainings for his learning partners and customers in the areas of Leadership and People Management (LPM), Business Management Framework (BMF) and Employee Skills Series (ESS).

Sanjay is also a certified with a Certificate of Coaching Skills from Result Coaching Systems which is a member of International Coaching Federation (ICF). His coaching focus is on people making transitions in their work or life example moving from an individual contributor to manager, midlife career changes and switching from corporate to entrepreneurship or independent consulting.

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