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Quite often, what may seem to be a single problem turns out to be a whole series of problems.
The good news is that there are numerous tools you can use to make sense of this tangled mess!
Many of these help you create a clear visual representation of the situation, so that you can better understand what's going on. To generate viable solutions, you must have a solid understanding of what's causing the problem.
Appreciative Inquiry is designed to help you understand complex problems so that you can start the process of solving them.
It uses four stages to help you uncover more details about what's creating the problem, and then define actions that will improve the situation.
At this stage, it's also important to ensure that you look at the issue from a variety of perspectives.
If you commit yourself too early, you can end up with a problem statement that's really a solution instead.
Having good, strong problem solving skills can make a huge difference to your career.
Problems are at the center of what many people do at work every day.
For example, consider this problem statement: "We have to find a way of disciplining of people who do substandard work." This doesn't allow you the opportunity of discovering the real reasons for under-performance.
The CATWOE checklist provides a powerful reminder to look at many elements that may contribute to the problem, and to expand your thinking around it.