Problem Solving and Decision Making

Creative problem solving and e ective decision-making have a signi cant impact on an organization's growth and pro tability. Knowing how to approach the range of problems you face daily with proven techniques in identifying and resolving problems will increase and enhance your own and your organization's performance.

This program will equip participants with the skills to better clarify and de ne problems, generate potential solutions, and analyze risks and bene ts. We will address such questions as: When should I make a decision on my own? How will others react to a decision and what are the implications? How and when should I implement a solution? You will gain a better understanding of how the mind works, a greater capacity for generating creative solutions, and a discovery of ways to cultivate creative problem solving in others.


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"Great Class! Mr. Schwartz demanded lots of interaction in discussing real world problems."
Donna White, Systems Support Group Manager Texas Instruments

"One of the best sessions I have ever attended. The problem solving/ decision making exercises and hand-on experience was extremely informative and useful."
Edward Dalton, Assistant Director Department of Probation

"Overall, a very enjoyable program. Very interesting class and Mr. Schwartz's presentation was excellent. I was quite impressed by his ability to get everyone interested and involved. This helped broaden my thinking in a problem-solving situation. I learned not to just see that there is a problem, but to clarify the problem."
Sean P. Dowd, Counselor NFI Shelter Care


When problem solving, you may recognize that you were working on a symptom instead of the problem. An analysis of the more clearly defined problem may require an alteration to the objectives or the ideal solution. These reviews and changes are costly in terms of time and effort which emphasizes the need for rigid scrutiny during the initial problem definition to avoid wasted time and effort. Once implementation begins, it is even more difficult to learn that the entire action plan and subsequent efforts were based on symptoms in lieu of authentic problems.


Many managers feel they are well-versed in areas of group effort, such as problem-solving, goal-setting, and action planning. Frequently, however, the implementation of such techniques never seem to get beyond the initial stage. Often, this is because managers can not quite seem to understand that brainstorming or group decision-making requires comprehensive utilization of various processes. Managers may unknowingly find themselves perpetuating problems instead of solving them.


When entering into problem-solving to remember that it is unlikely that the best solution will be found on the first attempt. Good problem-solving can be viewed as working like a guidance system: The awareness of the problem is an indication of being "off course", requiring a correction in direction. The exact form the correction is to take is what problem-solving is aimed at deciding. But once the correction (the implemented solution) is made, it is possible that, after evaluation, it will prove to be erroneous-perhaps even throwing you even more off course than in the beginning. If this happens, the task then becomes to immediately compute what new course will be effective. Several course corrections may be necessary before getting back on track to where you want to go. Still, once the desired course is attained, careful monitoring is required to avoid drifting off course again unknowingly. Viewing problem-solving in this realistic manner can save a lot of frustration that comes from expecting it to always produce the right answers.