Employees in any organization find themselves solving problems on a daily basis. The ability to identify the problem, pinpoint the true cause and identify a workable solution is essential for personal, professional, and organizational success. In this course, students will learn to identify problems proactively, correctly state identified problems, identify the most likely cause, and determine innovative solutions. They are also asked to bring a current work problem to class and to be prepared to have fun with problem solving!
Students begin the course by working in small groups to solve a problem. During the debrief, they discuss challenges and successes in the process they used to resolve the problem. In this discussion, they identify a problem as being the gap between the current state and the desired state. They also discuss and identify barriers to effective problem solving and their role in overcoming those barriers. Similar small problems are introduced periodically during the day to challenge students’ thinking and keep it fresh. In the next segment of the course, students are introduced to a six-step problem-solving process. Using a case study based on an actual problem, they will work step-by step in small groups and apply the process to the case study. While working through these steps, they will learn multiple tools that they can use to identify causes and solutions in an efficient and effective manner back in the workplace.
Once they have had an opportunity to use the tools and the six-step process, students will then apply their learning and the tools to an actual problem that they need to solve. Engaging in this activity allows them to see how powerful and practical the process and tools can be in helping them resolve real issues. Students conclude the session by engaging in individual action planning.