Challenge comes in many forms. It isn’t always about developing overall organizational strategy. Sometimes it emerges as a specific problem to be solved or opportunity to be considered. That doesn’t make it any easier to find a solution.
Effectively exploring strategic problems and opportunities can be its own challenge. Staff are focused on operational commitments. Resources can be scarce. Broader implications and complexities can be missed and weak signals can be ignored. Objective insight can be difficult to maintain. Getting the right people and the right expertise in a room can be difficult. Keeping them there and getting them focused and aligned is even more challenging. When complex and messy problems emerge, ensuring they get the right focus and attention is critical, but hard.
By far the most significant complication in tackling strategic problems is the many ways that they emerge, and the many different approaches that might be applied in resolving them. Not only do you need the the right talent and capabilities involved, but you need to quickly build clarity about the problem, criteria for the solution and a framework for you to work through addressing the challenge. You need objective insight into not just the process of problem solving, but how to facilitate a diverse and eclectic group of resources. You need to balance the exploration of potential solutions with decisively focus on the most viable alternatives. Above all, you need to integrate creative exploration and disciplined analysis to come up with the right solution for you and your organization.
What complicates this is that problems do indeed come in many shapes and sizes. The process you need to work through will vary. Far-reaching problems may benefit from an environmental scan or scenario developments of their own. More specific problems may be able to use a more traditional problem solving approach. You might need to produce a business case, or conduct a feasibility study, or explore appropriate requirements for a solution. You may need to adaptively design a solution on the fly, piloting and experimenting to ascertain what works. Once a favourable approach emerges, you may need to further explore potential alternative solutions to implement a more permanent approach.
The expertise and guidance you need to explore, design and implement effective solutions to the most complicated and difficult of problems is close at hand.
Problem solving is essential to how we work. Interthink Consulting has the expertise necessary to properly frame the problem, build participation and alignment across groups, and develop creative and accepted solutions.
We recognize that problem solving and opportunity assessment isn’t simply about coming up with an answer. That answer needs to be accepted, agreed to and endorsed. Problem solving isn’t just about process, it’s about politics. We bring the objective insight, process focus, facilitation expertise and political acumen to help you find solutions to you most pressing challenges.
It’s a simple title that hides a lot of detail. Problem solving comes in many different forms. Every path looks the same as long as you don’t look too closely. But the details vary depending on the particulars of the problem and what you need of the solution. We bring an enthusiastic love of the phrase “it depends” to our work. We figure out the approach that best suits the situation, and provide the guidance and facilitation to work through the challenge.
Not only do problems come in many forms, solutions do also. Figuring out the best path to proceed can be a maze of untold complexity. Defining the options is the first challenge. Figuring out what is most important and working through an objective analysis is the next. We have the discipline, focus and tools to work through to solution, while keeping a room full of people actively engaged in the process.
Problem solving happens through people. You need to draw on a range of skills and perspectives. The problem is that group problem solving rarely takes advantage of the diversity that’s present, rushing to a lowest-common-denominator win that sometimes feels like a loss. We have the skills, techniques and acumen to guide your group through the process, supporting them when they are anxious and challenging them when they need to dig deep. We can get the best out of your people, and have them feel great about the process and the results when we are done.
Yes, it’s true. Sometimes a problem solving exercise benefits from a good, old-fashioned feasibility study. They exist for a reason, after all. That reason is that you have executives, management teams and boards that aren’t immersed in the problem, but need to endorse and approve a solution that actually works. Not only will we help you figure out what that solution is, we’ll build the presentation and documentation necessary to tell a clear, compelling and meaningful story that gets you the support you need.
Business Case Development
At their essence, business cases are feasibility studies with numbers in play. Figuring out the costs and benefits of a potential solution is critical, particularly when it comes to getting investment support to move forward. Decision makers want to see the due diligence. They are also pretty savvy to the fact that business cases often low-ball costs and over-promise on benefits. We have a track record of producing solid business cases that work as actual decision making tools; objectively presenting what is known, being open and honest about the risks and highlighting the other factors that are important in being comfortable with your decision.
Eventually, you’ve got to get something done. Creativity and brainstorming is awesome, and piloting potential solutions gives you the confidence that you are on the right track. Now you need to make it real. For your own piece of mind, you need to know what the work looks like and how you are going to get it done. Senior executives and governance teams want the reassurance that it’s all under control. We build the plans that give you both outcomes. You will have the confidence you need, and the credibility to back it up.