Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.


This guide is designed to help you approach your business problem solving process in a systematic way through information sources that can help you understand your situation more clearly and provide a distinct direction towards the appropriate solution.


Problem-solving in business is defined as implementing processes that reduce or remove obstacles that are preventing you or others from accomplishing operational and strategic business goals.




Problem-solving in business is characterized as executing forms that decrease or expel obstructions that are keeping you or others from achieving operational and vital business objectives.

SOURCE: Yousef Alsafadi



Life is a continuous exercise in creative problem solving.

Problem-solving is important both to individuals and organizations because it enables them to exert control over their environment.

* Fixing things that are broken: Some things wear out and break over time, others are flawed from day-1. Personal and business environments are full of things, activities, interactions and processes that are broken or not operating in the way they are desired to work. Problem-solving gives us a mechanism for identifying these things, figuring out why they are broken and determining a course of action to fix them.

* Addressing risk: Humans have learned to identify trends and developed an awareness of cause-and-effect relationships in their environment. These skills not only enable us to fix things when they break but also anticipate what may happen in the future (based on past-experience and current events). Problem-solving can be applied to the anticipated future events and used to enable action in the present to influence the likelihood of the event occurring and/or alter the impact if the event does occur.

* Improving performance: Individuals and organizations do not exist in isolation in the environment. There is a complex and ever-changing web of relationships that exist and as a result, the actions of one person will often have either a direct impact on others or an indirect impact by changing the environment dynamics. These interdependencies enable humans to work together to solve more complex problems but they also create a force that requires everyone to continuously improve performance to adapt to improvements by others. Problem-solving helps us understand relationships and implement the changes and improvements needed to compete and survive in a continually changing environment.

* Seizing opportunity: Problem solving isn’t just about responding to (and fixing) the environment that exists today. It is also about innovating, creating new things and changing the environment to be more desirable. Problem-solving enables us to identify and exploit opportunities in the environment and exert (some level of) control over the future.


SOURCE:   Kepner-Tregoe (KT) Helps Companies Achieve Higher Levels of Productivity  and Quality Through Major Upgrade to Signature Learning Solution 

1.  Lack of Cash Flow

2. Marketing and Advertising

3. Managing Time

4. Performing Administrative Work

5. Hiring and Retaining Top Talent

6. Providing and Managing Benefits

7. Navigating State/Federal/Government Regulations


SOURCE: Guidant-Financial-Logo-Navigation



1. Finding Customers

2. Increasing Brand Awareness

3. Building an Email List

4. Lead Generation

5. Delighting Customers

6. Hiring Talented People

7. Managing Workflow

8. Financial Planning

9. Scaling


SOURCE: hubspot-logo.png | Automated Insights



Cover ArtBulletproof Problem Solving by Charles Conn; Robert McLean 

ISBN: 1119553024

Publication Date: 2019-03-06

The problem-solving technique outlined in this book is based on a highly visual, logic-tree method that can be applied to everything from everyday decisions to strategic issues in business to global social challenges. 


The InnovCover Artator's Dilemma by Clayton M. Christensen 

ISBN: 1422197581

Publication Date: 2013-10-22

In this classic bestseller--one of the most influential business books of all time--innovation expert Clayton Christensen shows how even the most outstanding companies can do everything right--yet still lose market leadership. Sharp, cogent, and provocative--and consistently noted as one of the most valuable business ideas of all time--The Innovator’s Dilemma is the book no manager, leader, or entrepreneur should be without.


Cover ArtDecision Quality by Carl Spetzler; Jennifer Meyer; Hannah Winter 

ISBN: 1119144671

Publication Date: 2016-03-07

This book gives you a framework and thinking tools that will help you to improve the odds of getting more of what you value from every choice. You will learn: The six requirements for decision quality, and how to apply them The difference between a good decision and a good outcome. 


Cover ArtUpstream by Dan Heath 

ISBN: 9781982134723

Publication Date: 2020-03-03

Wall Street Journal Bestseller New York Times bestselling author Dan Heath explores how to prevent problems before they happen, drawing on insights from hundreds of interviews with unconventional problem solvers.


Cover ArtSecrets of Power Problem Solving by Roger Dawson 

ISBN: 9781453254127

Publication Date: 2012-04-24

Roger Dawson has taught hundreds of thousands of people how to negotiate, persuade, and make decisions, with his lectures, audio programs and books, and now he has turned his attention to something that everyone needs: a way to solve life's problems. Secrets of Power Problem Solving provides proven techniques and sure-fire strategies for solving everything the world throws at you.


Cover Art

Fix This Next by Mike Michalowicz

ISBN: 9780593084427

The biggest problem entrepreneurs have is that they don't know what their biggest problem is. If you find yourself trapped between stagnating sales, staff turnover, and unhappy customers, what do you fix first? A business that continues to go in endless circles putting out urgent fires and prioritizing the wrong things. Now, Fix This Next offers a simple, unique, and wildly powerful business compass that has already helped hundreds of companies get to the next level, and will do the same for you. Immediately.


Logo for New York Public Library

This collection of e-books gives you digital access to up-to-date books on a variety of topics. To find books on problem solving in business, type the search terms "business and problem solving" in the search box. Available with a valid New York Public Library card.



EBSCOHost Restricted: This database is accessible at certain NYPL locations only. Please see description for details.  -- Enter the search phrase "problem solving in business" or "problem solving in business" to retrieve articles on the topic.


Accessible at all NYPL locations and outside the Library with your NYPL card Small Business Reference Center  Enter the key phrase "problem solving" to written works by business experts on the topic.


TRAINING VIDEOS_________ Accessible at all NYPL locations and outside the Library with your NYPL card  Enter the search phrase "problem solving" and you will find a long list of videos on the topic, ranging from beginner to advanced.