Problem-solving is a crucial skill for so many jobs, so why aren’t we taught how to do it properly? This conversation dives deep into research-backed process and techniques that help businesspeople and their teams navigate and solve problems better and faster.
Arnaud Chevallier is a co-author of Solvable: A Simple Solution to Complex Problems. He is also a Professor of Strategy and decision making at IMD where he prepares executives for the strategic challenges that organizations face in today’s dynamic global marketplace by helping them make better decisions in volatile and uncertain conditions. Arnaud has consulted with multiple organizations across industries, including the United Nations, SAP, STADA, and Shell.
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2:31 Complex and ill-defined problems
4:37 Famous, historical example of solving a symptom and not the cause
8:15 How to effectively frame a problem
10:30 Examples of effective problem framing
11:14 The problem with how companies are framing Return To Office
12:19 Too much vs too little stakeholder engagement
15:04 How much info is needed to frame a problem well
16:15 The value of taking a probabilistic approach
18:45 How to prevent info overload when framing problems
21:01 What differentiates how great teams approach problems
22:03 Engagement is about more than inviting people to the table
25:26 Balancing establishing credibility and showing vulnerability
26:32 Approach for mapping out solutions to problems
30:42 What MECE is and how to apply it in problem solving
33:41 How much mapping is needed for complex problems
35:22 Example of how diverse thinking leads to breakthrough solutions
37:56 Addressing our blind spots in problem solving
40:41 How to agree on evaluation criteria when choosing a solution
Arnaud’s view on the greatest unmet wellbeing need at work today
"Stress and and realizing how much stress is crippling us. And I'd say let's start with this. I think there's been a oh, there is an ongoing shift from being 'the tough people' to admitting we don't have all the answers and [admitting we have] vulnerabilities. And when we're in stressful situations, we should be able to speak up and look and ask, 'okay, how do we overcome this?'"
What “working with humans” means to Arnaud
“I trained as an engineer, [and as it relates to] problem solving, it's a science. It's also an art. So working with humans, what I love is the fascinating interactions between the science and the art.”