Solutions

Life And Business - It’s All About Problem Solving

It’s true: what sets humans apart from all other forms of life is our ability to solve problems. In fact solving problems is all we doand we solve problems for one reason. Humans solve problems to meet their needs and fulfill their wants, thereby reducing stress (or anxiety). So what does that have to do with business? Every corporation in the world exists to make money, but there is a fundamental underlying function by which businesses perform.

The need

Businesses exist to meet human needs and meeting human needs is best characterized as problems to be solved. Consider the history of business and economic development. It is synonymous with the history of finding ever more ingenious ways to travel, be entertained, control the growth of grass in the yard, find a mateand get rid of your old furniture. (Think jet airplanes, iPods, lawnmowers, match.com, eBay).

As businesses, we’re always trying to push the envelope of innovation to meet human needs better, whether that entails a low-end solution and price reduction, or whether it entails a higher-end solution for which customers are willing to pay a premium. In either case there is one thing you can always count on problems to be solved.In this sense problems are good, not bad as the word implies. There is no escaping problems in a world that changes constantly—in markets and in the strategies and operations of a corporation. Therefore, if there’s one overarching competency for corporations to possess, that competency is problem solving.

In this sense problems are good, not bad as the word implies, because they are the necessary atoms of evolution (human, plant and animal). There’s no escaping problems in a world that changes constantly—at the subatomic level, in the realm of the natural environment, in markets and certainly in the strategies and operations of a corporation. Therefore, if there’s one over-arching competency for corporations to possess, one that lies most squarely at the center of what a company has to do well, that competency is problem solving.

Inability of methodologies

We might add that in a world where consultants are constantly branding methods, and honing lenses through which to view the business at hand, a problem-solving orientation can sustain a workforce through these various programmatic gyrations and iterations. All the tools, techniques and methods and the names that go with them (like Lean Six Sigma, Continuous Improvement, Kaizen and so many others)— are nothing more than repackaged programs for solving the business problems of the day.

BMGI understands the problems businesses face, and we know where the problem-solving power ends and the packaged programs begin. In fact, we have spent years partnering with clients to drive Six Sigma and Lean deployments in many industries. But as anti-consultants we recognize that particular changes in Lean Six Sigma as well as the tools Black Belts wield have now been commoditized.

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