Do you like paradoxes such as: “do more with less”? We encounter these kinds of conflicting demands every day. Research shows that people who like contradictions are more creative, flexible and productive. In one study, people who took into account conflicting demands, such as minimizing costs and maximizing quality, were more creative in their approach than those who thought about just one aspect. Before you start solving a problem, it is good to describe the different paradoxes side by side and think about possible interactions and especially synergies.

How you frame your problem will affect how you solve it. Therefore, the words you choose to describe the problem are critical. If you have trouble coming up with effective solutions, you can see the way you phrase the problem from a different perspective. Ask yourself the following two questions: First, what is the topic? A problem statement focusing on employees will generate different solutions than a problem statement aimed at projects or costs. Second, how do you measure the problem? The performance indicator you use to define success or failure has a major impact on the solutions you come up with. So, the next time you face a problem and may not find a solution, try reframing the problem description. You will likely find that just modifying a few words can lead to a major shift in perspective of how you approach the problem.

How do you become an expert to solve problems?

What do you need? Persistence, an open mindset and a good amount of curiosity. Combine this with a robust problem-solving method such as the 8D method (Ford Global 8D) or the simplified 5 step method * and you are ready to successfully tackle and eliminate any problem.

Would you like to know more, or would you like to be trained as an internal expert to deploy this in your organization and apply it effectively, I would be happy to help you. Send me an email:

(*) 5 step method: 1. Describe the Problem; 2. Analyse the underlying Cause; 3. Develop Solutions and Experiment; 4. Test and Implement the Solutions and 5. Standardize and Learn.