Online Class: Problem Solving Strategies
with CEU Certificate*
have taken this course
I have a problem: I want it to go away.
I have a problem: I want the easiest, quickest, cheapest solution possible.
I/we have a problem, but I/we can't solve it because of money, people and personalities, powerful external forces . . .
Our problems are too big: there is no way to solve them.
Most people have said such things to themselves at some point. Problems come in many sizes and degrees of complexity, but they are unavoidable in life. Problem solving and decision making around solutions are essential skills.
The good news is that many academics, business consultants, and leaders in all fields have explored these areas and have developed effective models and strategies that work. In Sections I-VII, this course will provide tools for effective and meaningful problem solving. In Sections VIII and IX, we will cover decision making processes.
Defining the Problem
is essential to thoroughly define a problem before trying to solve it.
Because it is such an important topic, this course presents three
proven approaches to problem definition.
Putting the Problem into Its Context
After defining the problem, it is necessary to place the problem in context.What is the locus of the problem? Is it fundamentally a personal, group, or organizational (including business, corporate, educational, government, religious, and non-profit) problem?
Along with placing the problem in a structural context is the issue of the essential nature of the problem. Is it best viewed as personal, social, economic, political, environmental, spiritual, or some other kind of problem?
The recent mortgage foreclosure crisis is a good example of where these two notions of context interacted. For a couple about to lose their home, their problem was clearly a complex of personal, business, corporate, and governmental factors combined with personal, social, economic, and political implications. Such a complicated problem is challenging to solve, which is one reason that the problems of the mortgage crisis are still ongoing, years after the crisis began.
Developing a solution to such a complex problem would require considering the problem as multiple kinds of problems, each with a different context. At the personal level, the owners would need to consider their jobs, savings, assets, credit rating, and so on. According to one of our models, what is the borrowers' current reality, versus the ideal?
The homeowners would also need to consider the situation with regard to their lender. Was their lender, for example, involved in a merger or acquisition and how did that affect the lender's policies and willingness to extend credit? What is the lender's current reality, versus the ideal?
Who Is Involved in the Problem: Stakeholders
Finally, in defining the problem, there is the issue of stakeholders. Who is involved? Who is affected by the problem? Who may be blocking a solution? Who controls the resources necessary for solving the problem? Identifying the stakeholders is essential to defining any problem before trying to solve it. Among those connected to the problem, whose input is useful and/or important? Who will be involved in the problem-solving process? Who will be making the decisions necessary to solving the problem? Who may be blocking a solution and what is their motivation for doing so?
This is, obviously, where the problem-solving process morphs from individual analysis and ideas to group dynamics, corporate culture, political alliances, etc. This leads to more complications, but also to more opportunities for changes that need to happen.
- Completely Online
- Printable Lessons
- Full HD Video
- 6 Months to Complete
- 24/7 Availability
- Start Anytime
- PC & Mac Compatible
- Android & iOS Friendly
- Accredited CEUs
Lesson 1: Problem Solving: The Fundamentals
Lesson 2: Research/Gathering Data
Lesson 3: Problem Solving: Determining and Building Your Strengths
Lesson 4: Problem Solving: Determining and Building Resources
Lesson 5: Problem Solving: Digging Deeper
Lesson 6: Solving Problems: Process, Tools, and Techniques
Lesson 7: Decision Making: The Fundamentals
Lesson 8: Decision Making: Making Tough Decisions
- Recognize what problem solving actually is and why it's important to be good at it.
- Describe methods for researching and gathering data needed for problem solving.
- Identify your strengths and available resources for determining the most appropriate problem solving process.
- Utilize the process, tools and techniques you have available to determine the best solution to a problem.
- Summarize methodologies you may use when making tough decisions in the problem solving process.
- Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.
Additional Course Information
- Document Your Lifelong Learning Achievements
- Earn an Official Certificate Documenting Course Hours and CEUs
- Verify Your Certificate with a Unique Serial Number Online
- View and Share Your Certificate Online or Download/Print as PDF
- Display Your Certificate on Your Resume and Promote Your Achievements Using Social Media
- "This course was very helpful to me." -- Waisea T.
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