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1. Define the problem

Defining the problem (or framing the problem) is about identifying the right problem: identifying the key question as well as its environment, and summarizing all the relevant information in a problem identification card.

Don’t underestimate the human side

Recently, I had a conversation with a dean of engineering. He was looking for a big idea—one to take his school from here (top 30 nationwide) to there—the ultra-nerd stratosphere. I offered that he promoted training his students and faculty to think strategically. This is what I sell, so I’m […]

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Go beyond traditional decision analysis

A central aspect of my approach to solving complex problems builds on the widespread agreement that effective problem solvers are T-shaped, with both depth and breadth of knowledge. Develop a breadth of skills & knowledge The breadth of knowledge—what I call strategic thinking—includes having sufficient exposure to other fields so that you can […]

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Strategic Thinking is available for pre-order

My upcoming book, Strategic Thinking in Complex Problem Solving, is available for pre-order. It will ship on August 3, 2016. Get it from Amazon. Get it from Oxford University Press. Get it from Barnes & Noble. The book includes many of the ideas covered on this site with a deeper treatment and […]

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Recognize and market your transferrable skills

Ideal problem solvers are t-shaped

Many of the advanced doctoral students I speak with share one characteristics: they fail to recognize that they have transferrable skills and knowledge. And, as they finally land an interview with a potential employer, they’re selling themselves short. But getting an advanced degree, or indeed, solving any complex problem, brings you more […]

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