Structured Thought: Problem Solving

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Clearly define a problem, scope all issues related to the problem, generate potential solutions, then analyze and select the best solution by using time-tested critical thinking methods and tools.

Duration: 2 hours (Approximately 60 minutes of video lessons and 60 minutes of exercises)

Are you dealing with big, challenging, ambiguous problems with no clear answers? Learn a method for how to define a problem, scope issues related to the problem, generate potential solutions, then analyze and select the best solution. You can do this through the application of an efficient and effective analytical method. This course explains how to:

  • “Pin” the problem to clearly define the real issue at hand
  • Put structure to ambiguous problems in an issue-focused way
  • Generate potential solutions to the problem
  • Quickly prioritize the highest potential solutions
  • Analyze the solutions and make a case for the recommendation

The course consists of instructor-introduced concepts, practical application exercises, and supporting materials. The course includes:

  • Extensive, in-depth instructor videos to guide you through the content
  • A downloadable course guide of slides to help you follow the instruction
  • A downloadable workbook to apply the method as you take the course
  • Exercises, quizzes, and case examples to help you apply the method as you learn it

The target audience for this course consists of individuals in analytical or persuasive roles from junior to senior levels of organizations (e.g., analysts, managers, mid-level executives). The value of this course to the you and to the organization as a whole are:

  • Clearer issue definition and more holistic evaluation of possible solutions
  • Efficient and focused problem solving and analysis which saves time and money
  • Higher confidence in recommendations being the right recommendations
  • Better prioritization of efforts so teams work on the highest value opportunities and avoid working on low value ideas

Mike Figliuolo is the founder and managing director of thoughtLEADERS. He is an internationally recognized author, trainer, speaker, and blogger on the topics of leadership, communications, strategy, decision-making, problem solving, and other critical business skills. An honor graduate from West Point, Mike served in the US Army as a combat arms officer. Before founding thoughtLEADERS, he was an assistant professor at Duke University, a consultant at McKinsey & Company, and an executive at Capital One and Scotts Miracle-Gro. He is the author of three books: One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal LeadershipLead Inside the Box: How Smart Leaders Guide Their Teams to Exceptional Results, and The Elegant Pitch: Create a Compelling Recommendation, Build Broad Support, and Get it Approved. Mike is also one of the most popular authors on LinkedIn Learning where he has published 30 courses that have been viewed millions of times by learners from around the world.


Course Content

Expand All
The Problem Solving Process
Pin the Problem
Generate Options
Narrow the Options
Analyze the Options
Advance the Answer
Applying the Method
Lesson Content
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