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Global Communications - an Approach to Identify Opportunities to Create Value for the Business

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Essay title: Global Communications - an Approach to Identify Opportunities to Create Value for the Business

Problem Solving Based Scenarios:

An Approach to Identify Opportunities to

Create Value for the Business

Introduction

Today’s realities of leadership include increasing competition and intensity, reducing cycle times and costs, and improving productivity while at the same time growing the business and meeting increasing customer and Wall Street expectations. These pressures require leaders to redefine and redesign how to think, how to lead, and how to act. These shifts in the very nature of leadership and of work demand that the leader spend more time figuring out what to do next and how best to do it to add value to the corporation and the stakeholders. Problem solving is a core capability required to realize these opportunities.

Leadership can be seen as a process of identifying opportunities and solving problems. Some problems are important; some are not important. Some problems are easy to define; others are complex. Some problems are easy to solve; others are difficult. Some are solved alone; many are solved with others, often under tremendous political and organizational pressures. Sometimes there is a problem; sometimes there is not a problem. All problem solving and solution development methods follow a process that may be adapted by the user and to the particular scenario or situation.

As human beings, we tend to look to preserve the status quo and see the world as it has been. We look for patterns or approaches that have been successful in the past. These approaches have helped to make us successful. At the same time, they have limited our success by limiting our creativity, our ways of thinking, and, therefore, our solutions and actions.

The shifts in the nature and structure of organizations and of work are leading to the need for new approaches for leaders to use to identify opportunities and address issues through fast-cycle, creative, and future-oriented success factors. The shift from individual work and processes to knowledge and a service society require all leaders to be exceptional problem solvers. The past approach of a long and intensive decision-making process of identifying systems and root causes, which is often about restoring what was, does not fit the realities of short cycles and extreme competition. Rather, it is important to identify solutions based on future goals and desired states. Quickly developing new and innovative solutions becomes critical to competing successfully in the future. This problem solving focuses on creating future solutions, not on solving past problems. This focus requires turning all problems or issues into opportunities—opportunities to create a better future state.

Using an effective future-oriented problem solving and solution development approach enables a leader to define the right problem, decide upon a wise solution, and avoid many of the derailers of leadership. This approach incorporates objective and intuitive factors. It is a creative and an analytical process. It is systematic, sequential, and cyclical in nature. And it demands constant flexibility, emotional maturity, self-motivation, and a results orientation. Use of this systematic approach avoids the traps or derailers of reactionary decision making, false assumptions, defining the wrong problem, political landmines, unrealistic organizational pressures, and psychological traps.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge”.

—Albert Einstein

A Holistic Approach to Problem Solving and Solution Development

There are many alternative approaches to solving problems. Traditionally they have involved a step-by-step process of defining the problem, identifying alternative solutions, assessing the alternatives, making a decision, and implementing the solution. A more state-of-the art process also incorporates appreciative inquiry, which helps to reframe the problem into an opportunity and defines success in terms of the desired future end state and success factors. It is also a process that involves engaging people through the process of dialogue to create an initial state of shared understanding to help define the right problems and the expertise required to solve many of today’s multidisciplinary and complex problems.

Because the realities of today’s world demand quick, high-quality solutions to resolve issues and realize future opportunities, the approach must be fast-cycle, rigorous, fact-based, systematic, and holistic. These demands lead to a step-by-step

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