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How to Categorize and Solve Problems

How to Categorize and Solve Problems

At Thinking Faster, Jeffrey Phillips introduced his mental framework on solving problems. He uses an analogy of a wedding cake, which has different layers, and they are distinct yet inter-related to help him decide how to categorize and solve problems:

  • At the top – Strategy
  • Next down – Process / Culture
  • Next down – software applications / tools
  • At the bottom – data

He said an issue from business may be related to these four areas. When you see there is a problem related to lower layers, the root causes may actually be linked to higher layers. For instance:

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… By demonstrating how a CRM system failure is not a problem with the actual software, but with the business processes it support and ultimately a failure of the management team to completely support the initiative, you can indicate the root causes of problems that may lie far beyond the initial symptom, and indicate the aspects of the business that need to change to completely solve the problem…

Using this sort of thinking to look into different layers in business process will help you solving some of the difficult issues. Using this along with method such as 5 Whys will help you find the root causes and able to fix it once and for all.

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Mental Frameworks – [Thinking Faster]

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Leon Ho

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Last Updated on August 15, 2018

Book summary: A Technique for Producing Ideas

Book summary: A Technique for Producing Ideas

Kirby Ferguson has written a summary for the book A Technique for Producing Ideas. Generating good idea is a fine art, if you have mastered it you will be successful in many fields. The author of the book, James Young, describes five steps on a technique of combining old elements together:

  • Gather new material, both specific and general.
  • The Mental Digestive Process
  • Drop it
  • Poof, the idea appears
  • Work it

Kirby also brought out his own thoughts – drop down every ideas you have in mind – You mind is not always as good as paper and sometimes it only stays for a short period of time. After you’ve dropped your ideas into your notepad, you will also have extra chances of linking and modifying your ideas together.

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Book summary: A Technique for Producing Ideas – [Goodie Bag]

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