Successful people approach problems differently than others. They search for solutions at multiple levels; solutions that are both Specific AND Systematic. Yes, they want to solve the situation right in front of them but more than that, they want to find a solution that will reduce the probability of it occurring again. The first is the “Specific Solution”, the second is the “Systematic Solution”.

Finding solutions involves Critical Thinking Skills (CTS) and finding effective, robust long-term solutions involves Systems Thinking Skills (‘Upstream’ and ‘5th Discipline’ explain Systems Thinking well). Toyota’s “5 Why’s” are an excellent diagnostic tool (“By asking why five times and answering it each time we can get to the real cause of the problem.” – Taiichi Ohno).

Those who go farthest in life know that the best way to solve problems is to prevent them.

Closing Quotes:

“The easiest way out of a complex situation is often then quickest way back in.” – Principle of Systems Thinking

“Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it.” – Henry Ford, 1863-1947

“Learn to use your brain power. Critical thinking is the key to creative problem solving in business.” – Richard Branson, Virgin Atlantic

“Cognitive psychology tells us that the unaided human mind is vulnerable to many fallacies and illusions because of its reliance on its memory for vivid anecdotes rather than systemic statistics.” – Stephen Pinker, ‘Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters’

As always, I share what I most want and need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier