Implement the solution

The last step in the problem-solving process is to execute (or implement) your solution. In some cases that requires you “only” to convince others that the solution you’ve identified is a good one. Other times, you’ll also get to implement it, monitor its effectiveness, and take corrective actions as needed. Either way, an essential part of the execution is to convince others that your conclusions are valid, which will require you to communicate effectively.

Ensure that you prepare your delivery by designing an effective presentation—including displaying information effectively and using appropriate chart types (on slide design, see also here, here and here; design is indeed important, and not just in slides). As you craft your message, start early, initiate with your conclusion, and consider telling it as a story.

Also important is to ensure that your ideas remain clear in your message and that your logic is sound in all of its aspects. One way to do this is to use slides’ taglines optimally.

Influencing others may also involve some negotiations. So, you may need to improve your persuasion skills; one way to do so is to get your stakeholders to buy in your ideas by making them theirs.

If you are also responsible for rolling out the solutions, consider whether a gradual rollout is appropriate. It may also be judicious for you to implement earlier rather than later.

As in all the other parts of the resolution process, enlist others to assist you; to do so, consider engaging your team and helping others be successful. Also important is for you to lead change, ensure you have a good team, and manage people optimally (see also another post on managing people). This may require you to adapt your leadership style.

If your setting allows it, you may get to solve a complex problem by building on the successful resolution of related, simpler ones.

(For practical considerations, see our case study on preparing a message and presenting conclusions.)