Rotman Management

The Most Underrated Skill in Management

OVER THE PAST TWO DECADES, we have worked with dozens of organizations, helping them with everything from managing beds in a cardiac surgery unit to sequencing the human genome. While the work itself has been highly varied, one thing has become clear to us: Problem formulation is the single most underrated skill in all of management practice.

There are few questions more powerful than, ‘What problem are you trying to solve’? In our experience, leaders who can formulate a clear problem statement get more done with less effort and move more rapidly than their less-focused counterparts. Before we describe how to improve this capability within yourself, let’s take a quick look at something that often gets in the way: the workings of the human mind.

Resisting the Associative Machine

Research indicates that our brains have two primary methods for tackling problems, and which method dominates — and thus determines the final answer — depends on both the surrounding context and the current state we are in.

As the name suggests, represents the part of your brain that you control. Whenever you are aware of your mental effort or tell someone that you are thinking about something, you are using conscious processing. This and — the abilities to form a mental picture of a situation and then play out different possible scenarios, even if those scenarios have never occurred before. Conscious processing is the domain of logic, in that it uses knowledge about the world to construct possibilities that extend beyond our own experience.

  

Estás leyendo una vista previa, regístrate para leer más.

Más de Rotman Management

Rotman Management7 min. leídosTech
Setting the Course for Your Innovation Journey
MANY WELL-ESTABLISHED COMPANIES KNOW that innovation is critical but have only just begun to test the waters. Others have set sail and are learning to navigate. The most advanced are mid-voyage, deep into their quest. Wherever they are on their journ
Rotman Management15 min. leídos
Turning Disruption into Opportunity: How to Release Trapped Value
WHAT HAPPENS when new and fast-improving technologies create opportunities to unleash untapped sources of revenue—some of them long trapped by market inefficiencies? As digital components become relentlessly better, cheaper and smaller, this is a que
Rotman Management6 min. leídos
Impact Investing in Asia
For those who aren’t familiar with the term, what is impact investing? Impact investing means investing in funds or organizations with the intention of generating a measurable social or environmental return alongside financial returns. Some of the ar