In my efforts to solve a problem I have often begun by identifying the one issue that affects me and focus on the individual tasks that led to the problem attempting to use logical and critical thinking. I have hit upon the realization that this focus works well with simpler problems that need immediate clarification but it has proven appropriate that problems that are more difficult and require a more long-term and elaborate answer requires the use of a Systems Thinking approach. My failure to seek broad, long-term solutions has me stamping out grass fires while my house burns down. I have adopted Daniel Aronson ideas on systems thinking to aid in keeping “the big picture” when developing solutions. Critical and creative thinking processes are required when solving problems using systems thinking but I see the concentration shift from breaking down and examining individual tasks to studying how various system tasks shape both that system and the other systems in which it interacts. When using systems thinking, essential in arriving to an amicable and effective end state are the realizations that must be shared by the solution seekers. To which all players must realize that their roles affect other stakeholders and the desired outcome. Each seeker should study how past solutions have added to a problem and therefore any steps to correct a current problem should be evaluated for negative results and creation of other problems. Crucial too is the required realization that the desired end outcome is affected by outside influences which may not be obvious, controllable or correctable. Regarding the Army’s seven step problem solving process I make the following contribution and observations based on my “tacit” experience acquired during my career and specifically in completing capstone courses on decision making and development of thinking skills. 1. Identify the problem.
This is where I find that people have to be hit in the face before they acknowledge a...
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