Tag Archives: opportunity

Problem Solving With Monet

Our ability to problem solve is often directly correlated with our levels of success. Regardless of what function or role we inhabit, we are constantly bombarded with obstacles that require a measured response.

I prefer to view these problems as opportunities to improve a situation.  As the saying goes, “when life serves you lemons, make lemonade.”

Up close Monet's paints are difficult to make out, but from afar they are a thing of beauty - When analyzing your problem take a step back and to improve your perspective of the problem.

Apply a Monet framework to problem solving. Up close, Monet's paints are difficult to make out; from afar they are a thing of beauty. When analyzing a problem, improve your perspective by taking a step back to understand all of the problem's elements.

To improve your response, approach particularly troublesome problems using a problem-solving framework.  In my framework, I look at the situation like I view Monet paintings – from afar. I assume a third-party perspective that enables me to take a step back and hypothesize all stakeholder points of view.  From this perspective I recommend you:

Define the problem.
What’s causing it? Without knowing what the problem is and what’s causing it, you’ll either be fixing problems that don’t need fixing or not finding the right solution

Understand what you can control.
If you have no control over some aspect of the problem, don’t focus your efforts on solving the problem by trying to change that element.  Think creatively about how you can solve the problem and consider changing directions that circumvent that element entirely.

List you potential solutions.
Come up with potential solutions to fix the cause of your problem or change the landscape entirely.  Improve your creativity by brainstorming ideas with others to develop possible solutions.  Additional perspectives can give you a more complete view of the whole picture.  I also find it helpful to look at other solutions to disparate problems and see if those can be applied to your problem at hand.

Pick the best option and act on it.
Once you settle on the best option for solving the problem you’ve defined, take the steps to carry it out.  You’ll find this process is very rewarding, especially if you start seeing immediate results.  If this solution doesn’t solve your problem. Great! Now you know and you can move back through these steps to see what options you have to approach the problem that exists now.

Move on
Often, I find out problems aren’t as bad as they initially appear.  Problems can be great opportunities to explore new directions in your business.  Hopefully, your problem-solving process will have the results you desire.  Once you decide on a solution to a problem, it is often best to move on and tackle the next problems opportunity that comes your way.  This is particularly true for problems you don’t have any control over.  Don’t waste your time dwelling on what went wrong or why the situation isn’t fair; learn from your missteps and move forward by proactively taking steps to be successful.

Opportunity Abounds in Depressed Economy

When looking at problems, I try to ask myself how a problem I’m facing could be an opportunity in disguise.

The economic woes are certainly problematic – the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.  But for those who are brave enough to seize opportunities presented by the crisis may find see these woes the driver behind great things to come.

Opportunity Street

Opportunity Street

If you’ve lost your job, you probably have a lot more free time. So aside from trying to land that next job, what can you do?
Why not start a blog, start a project you’ve been putting off, or start a business?

By seizing the opportunity of starting a business during these depressed times, you will find talented people willing to work for less, government programs geared to facilitate your company’s success, and should eventually find pent-up demand for your services and products right around the time you and your company should be hitting their stride.

But how do you get started?  I’d suggest getting a group of recently laid-off talented people together and seeing if you and your colleagues can find an idea that succeed during the revitalization of America. Infrastructure, green technology, and other types of businesses well suited for these times and are waiting to be started.

You may psuh back saying that you don’t have the resources to start a business and I would say that may be true, but there are ways to run your startup with less money than you think you’ll need.  A group of entrepreneurs in New York recently met to discuss their Ultra Light Startups, start-ups that cost less by utilizing technology and support sustainable revenue models.

Also,take the time to beef up your web presence on social networking and social media sites and start building your social equity on Twitter and LinkedIn or any other appropriate site.  There are countless stories of people landing jobs through those they met through these platforms by sharing their knowledge and building up trust.

Think smartly.  Albert Einstein was a smart guy, and even he thinks there’s an opportunity for you when you face difficulty.  His quote “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity” is right on target.

Heed Einstein’s advice and discover opportunity in the midst of difficulty and ride it to a successful outcome. The timing couldn’t be better.