The Inherent Problems in Problem-Solving

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The problem with solution is the set of problems it creates. An enterprise solution is like a game of chess. Strategy. Tactics. And the invisible hand of luck, hardworking business owners

may frown at the role of luck, or better still, they attribute it to the dictates of strategy. A solution is, by its very nature, a set of problems which have their entry and exit points.

Hiring a new employee creates the problem of who to hire; it creates the problems associated with inviting applicants for interview; the problem of sieving the wheat from the chaff; the problem of negotiating remuneration within budget; the problem of acculturating the new recruit into the corporate culture; the problem of time for him or her to adapt to the conditions of the new environment; the problem of getting the best out of the employee; the problem of justifying his or her market value; the problem of retaining performance; the problem of handling nonperformance or under-performance; the problem of replacing an outgoing employee with a Doctor Who... 

Investing marketing dollars on reinforcing a company’s corporate values creates the problem of which creative agency to recruit; the problem of which agencies to invite for a pitch; the problem of selecting one; the problem for both ends of the bargain to agree on a budget; the problem of working in concert to attain the common goal; the problem of monitoring the project round the clock; it creates the problem of fine-tuning as the need arises; the problem of facing the Oga at the Top if the cash register doesn’t ring as it should; the problem of keeping proper accounting records; the problem of auditing record books; the problem of paying tax to a government that taxes everyone pro bono; it creates the problem of reinvesting or divesting; and such other problems….

Seeking markets to enter creates the problem of analyzing the industry structure; the problem of sizing up competition; the problem of avoiding the pitfalls in strategy; the problem of galvanizing resources; the problem of operating within the confines of industry regulations; the problem of gaining market acceptance; the problem of organizational learning; the problem of serving the market cost-effectively; the problem of innovating; the problem of watching costs; the problem of maintaining qualitative service delivery; the problem of consolidating on competitive advantage; the problem of leveraging on marketing credentials; the problem of rewarding loyal customers; the problem of exciting new ones; the problem of reinventing the wheel; the problem of not altering the wheel of progress; the problem of oiling the everyday performance engine.....

The dissimilarities between business domains and the chessboard is the similitude between battle formations on an Army drill ground and in an operational theater. In chess, you have one goal (or two subgoals rolled into one). Capture the opponent's king (Protect yours). The period in which to checkmate or be checkmated is co-dependent on the chess format and the players involved. There's stalemate. There’s fool's mate. Nobody likes to be at the receiving end of a fool’s mate. A chess computer brings a slightly different dimension to the beautiful game. A computer chess program is an emotionless monster, it doesn't participate in the psychological aspects synonymous to human-to-human chess. Inside a chess computer is a database of games played by masters and grandmasters in the last 500 years. Artificial intelligence uses pattern recognition to calculate the best possible move in any position. It relies on its extra tactical ability to reduce the margin for error.

The similarity between chess and business solution is the science and art of problem-solving; Businesspeople and Chess players are under the whirlpool of information in the decisive fields of technology, economics, and psychology. A single crack doesn’t break the whole mass, but it perforates the umbrella of strategy, setting it up for a rainy day. There's a catalogue of factors to be considered in problem-solving, and I barely scratched the surface, the barriers demanding solutions within a solution are impossible to grasp in one train of thought.

Business owners and consultants armed with the latest analytical techniques weave together different solutions to cater for the associated problems in a lead solution. Thinking of what other problems a solution creates and factoring them in the planning phase is of utmost importance.

Read 1569 times Last modified on Thursday, 02 March 2017 13:04
Abdulwaheed Bashar

A brand strategist, who's passionately driven by the entrepreneurial spirit of medium and small-scale enterprises, and a keen observer of the Nigerian market economy.

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