Problem Solving by Design
When confronted with a problem, the general response is to try to solve it, even if only temporarily. We ask what is the problem and then what is the work around. Design takes a broader, more holistic approach, to problem solving. The difference being the question – why is there a problem? What was the piece of the puzzle that was missed, undervalued, or not fully understood when the original process was put in place? Often we are so anxious to ‘solve’ the problem, we forget to verify that we actually got the question right.
Getting the question right is the focus design based problem solving. We use a systems approach to examine the problem in context. We need to understand the interactions, interdependencies and potential impacts with other components and functions to insure that the proposed solution can operate at the intended scale.
In this workshop we will review the concept and the process of using Problem Solving by Design via two or three case studies. Then, as a group, we will select a problem volunteered by the participants to demonstrate the value of the process as well as how to identify what additional information is needed to understand the context of the issue and then model the viability of the different solutions we discover.
What 3 things will your participants learn or experience as a result of your workshop?
- One of the first concerns in Problem Solving by Design is did we get the question right. All to often we rush for a quick answer without considering the nuances of the problem.
- Next is were we sufficiently inclusive of context, content and community where the solutions is to be applied? After all, we want a to create a solution, not inadvertently end up moving the problem down the line.
- And then, can we model our proposed solution to double check that it solved the issue and can work at the appropriate scale.
What might be 3 ways that the content of your workshop changes your attendees’ perceptions, habits, ways of working, or view of the world?
- Many of the problems/issues we need to resolve are transboundary. They are not about a single issue or limited to a single area. They are part of a system of interactions and interdependent parts. The more intertwined or complex the problem is, the greater the need for the solutions to be applied synergistically and simultaneously. As such, solving the problems requires reconceptualizing the issues and analyzing them holistically so that the solutions inherent in the mixture of issues become both visible and actionable. Most of us were educated via siloed thinking. We had to take math, science, history, and literature but every subject area was taught separately and in isolation of the others. Now our first response to problem solving mimics our educational training. That will work on some issues but not the tough ones: they require us to use an alternative path to find resolution. Problem solving by Design is such an alternative.
What are 3 ways your attendees might apply what they learn in your workshop?
- Problem Solving by Design works at many scales and in many venues and scenarios in companies, public applications and personal life. Probably one of the more important aspects of this approach is that it can show multiple options to solving a problem as well as providing insights as to the threshold level when a redesign is likely to be needed. All systems grow, but they also reach a point at which they need to restructure themselves to maximize both effectiveness and efficiency. It is the difference between growth and development. I do not expect my students to be taller or weigh more because they took my course, but I do expect them to be more informed, knowledgeable, insightful and hopefully wiser and more understanding. Process of Problem Solving by Design allows me to see and think differently which gives me a better understanding of the issue and therefore a better way to find a ore appropriate and durable solution.
- Creativity for Business – Entrepreneurs, Business Owners, Corporate
- Creativity for Community – Nonprofits, Community Builders, Teams
- Creativity for Education – Educators, Coaches, Facilitators
- Creativity For Mind, Body, Spirit – Health and Wellness, Human Potential, Personal Growth