In a workplace where silos exist, problem solving is more difficult because you are more likely dealing with self-promoters – rather than team players fostered by a cross functional environment..
When you operate in a siloed environment where everyone wants to be a star, it becomes increasingly difficult to help make anything or anyone better.
As such, they never see the totality of what the problem represents; that it can actually serve as an enabler to improve existing best practices, protocols and standard operating procedures for growing and competing in the marketplace.
They never realize that, in the end, all problems are the same – just packaged differently.
1. Transparent Communication Problem solving requires transparent communication where everyone’s concerns and points of view are freely expressed.
I’ve seen one too many times how difficult it is to get to the root of the matter in a timely manner when people do not speak-up. That is why when those involved in the problem would rather not express themselves – fearing they may threaten their job and/or expose their own or someone else’s wrong-doing – the problem solving process becomes a treasure hunt. When you know your workplace dot, you have a much greater sense of your sphere of influence.This is almost impossible to gauge when you operate in silos that potentially keep you from having any influence at all.As Karl Popper, one of the most influential 20 century philosophers of science, once eloquently stated, “All life is problem solving.” I’ve often contended that the best leaders are the best problem solvers.They have the patience to step back and see the problem at-hand through broadened observation; circular vision.Effective communication towards problem solving happens because of a leader’s ability to facilitate an open dialogue between people who trust her intentions and feel that they are in a safe environment to share why they believe the problem happened as well as specific solutions.Once all voices have been heard and all points of view accounted for, the leader (with her team) can collectively map-out a path toward a viable and sustainable solution. Rather than viewing this problem simply as a hurdle that could potentially lose us the client, we took proactive measures (and a financial investment) to show our new client that we were capable of not only solving the problem – but earning their trust by responding promptly and efficiently with a comprehensive step-by-step incident report that included our change management efforts.This experience taught us many lessons about our company and helped us to avoid many unforeseen problems.Problem solving is at the root of business, science, technology, learning and personal experience.Problem solving methods include areas such as scientific methods, analysis, logic, rational thought, intuition, creativity and design thinking. Reproduction of materials found on this site, in any form, without explicit permission is prohibited.