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Problem Solving in Business: SKILLS AND QUALIFICATIONS NEEDED IN PROBLEM SOLVING

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.

They turned problems into possibilities.

Research skills are our ability to find an answer to a question to a solution to a problem. Research skills include the ability to gather information about your topic, review that information, and analyze and interpret the information in a manner that brings us to a solution.

SOURCE: File:Indeed logo.svg - Wikimedia Commons

 

SIX TIPS FOR IMPROVING YOUR RESEARCH SKILLS

1. Start broad then dive into the specifics

2. Learn how to recognize a quality source

3. Verify information from several sources

4. Be open to surprising answers

5. Stay organized

6. Take advantage of library resources

 

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BOOKS ON RESEARCH SKILLS

Cover ArtThe Craft of Research by Wayne C. Booth; Gregory G. Colomb; Joseph M. Williams; Joseph Bizup; William T. FitzGerald 

ISBN: 9780226239736

Publication Date: 2016-10-18

With more than three-quarters of a million copies sold since its first publication, The Craft of Research has helped generations of researchers at every level--from first-year undergraduates to advanced graduate students to research reporters in business and government--learn how to conduct effective and meaningful research. 

 

Cover ArtDigital Methods for Social Science by Helene Snee (Editor); Christine Hine (Editor); Yvette Morey (Editor); Steven Roberts (Editor); Hayley Watson (Editor) 

ISBN: 1137453656

Publication Date: 2015-10-19

This timely book inspires researchers to deploy relevant, effective, innovative digital methods. It explores the relationship of such methods to 'mainstream' social science; interdisciplinarity; innovations in digital research tools; the opportunities (and challenges) of digital methods in researching social life; and digital research ethics.

Cover ArtDoing Qualitative Research Online by Janet Salmons 

ISBN: 9781446295410

Publication Date: 2016-01-05

Qualitative researchers can now connect with participants online to collect deep, rich data and generate new understandings of contemporary research phenomena. Doing Qualitative Research Online gives students and researchers the practical and scholarly foundations needed to gain digital research literacies essential for designing and conducting studies based on qualitative data collected online.

 

Cover ArtThe Joy of Search - A Google Insider's Guide by Daniel Russell 

ISBN: 0262042878

Publication Date: 2019-08-01

In The Joy of Search, Daniel Russell shows us how to be great online researchers. We don't have to be computer geeks or a scholar searching out obscure facts; we just need to know some basic methods. Russell explains how to frame search queries so they will yield information and describes the best ways to use such resources as Google Earth, Google Scholar, Wikipedia, and Wikimedia. He shows when to put search terms in double quotes, how to use the operator (*), why metadata is important, and how to triangulate information from multiple sources. 

Emotional intelligence or EI is the ability to understand and manage your own emotions, and those of the people around you. People with a high degree of emotional intelligence know what they're feeling, what their emotions mean, and how these emotions can affect other people.

For leaders, having emotional intelligence is essential for success. After all, who is more likely to succeed – a leader who shouts at his team when he's under stress, or a leader who stays in control, and calmly assesses the situation?

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What Does Emotional Intelligence Have to Do With Business?

Emotional intelligence involves being sensitive to and perceptive of other people's emotions, and having the ability to intuitively facilitate improved performance based on this knowledge. The modern workplace is characterized by open communication, teamwork, and a mutual respect among employees and their supervisors. Possessing emotional intelligence allows managers to better understand and motivate people they supervise.

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5 COMPONENTS OF EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE

1. SELF AWARENESS

It’s knowing what your actions and reactions are going to be and how they are going to affect other people, especially when making decisions. People who can give themselves an honest self assessment is going to be better prepared to handle whatever is thrown at them. And understand not only why they make a decision, but the fallout it may have for other people.

2. SELF REGULATION

The next component is self regulation which is the ability to control disruptive impulses, especially in high-stress situations. Controlling those impulsive, emotional reactions is what allows professionals to formulate a constructive and appropriate response. Think of it as the bumpers on a bowling lane. They help the ball stay on track.

3. MOTIVATION

The third key aspect of emotional intelligence is motivation. Someone who is motivated is committed to the work itself. He/she is driven to achieve, and committed to the organization. A motivated employee is going to stand out.

4. EMPATHY 

Empathy is the fourth component and is incredibly important when thinking about emotional intelligence. It’s a driving force in every conversation and interaction, and it can make or break a relationship. Whether it’s a prospect, client, colleague, or manager, empathy is the ability to understand what someone is going through. It’s what allows the other person to feel understood, which is incredibly important when building any type of relationship.

5. SOCIAL SKILLS

The fifth and final component is social skill, which is the culmination of all of the above. It’s taking the other components and organizing them so they can be put into practice.

 

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BOOKS ON EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE

Image of book page. Click to open preview.Leading with feeling : nine strategies of emotionally intelligent leadership by Cary Cherniss and Cornelia W. Roche. 

ISBN: 9780190698959

Publication Date: Cary Cherniss and Cornelia W. Roche [2020]

"This book describes how 25 outstanding leaders used emotional intelligence to deal with critical challenges and opportunities.. The book distills the leaders' experiences into nine strategies that can help any leader or potential leader to be more effective. Each chapter concludes with activities that help readers to apply immediately each of those strategies."

Cover ArtThe Emotionally Intelligent Leader by Daniel Goleman 

ISBN: 1633697339

Publication Date: 2019-08-06

Become a Better Leader by Improving Your Emotional Intelligence Bestselling author DANIEL GOLEMAN first brought the concept of emotional intelligence (EI) to the forefront of business through his articles in Harvard Business Review, establishing EI as an indispensable trait for leaders. The Emotionally Intelligent Leader brings together three of Goleman's bestselling HBR articles. 

Cover ArtMindful Listening by Harvard Business Review Staff; Peter Bregman; Jacqueline Carter; Rasmus Hougaard; Jack Zenger 

ISBN: 9781633696679

Publication Date: 2019-03-26

Become a mindful listener at work. Listening is a critical skill that leaders and managers often take for granted. By learning to listen mindfully, you can keep your employees more engaged, foster the discovery of new ideas, and hear what you need to hear in a discussion rather than what you expect to hear. 

 

Cover ArtEntrepreneur Voices on Emotional Intelligence by Inc. The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc.; Jonathan Small (Editor); Lewis Howes (Foreword by) 

ISBN: 9781599186351

Publication Date: 2018-10-30

Improve Your EQ Success as an entrepreneur takes a lot more than big ideas and dedication. With threats of burnout and rejection at nearly every turn, the entrepreneurial journey is riddled with obstacles--but the staff, experts, and voices of Entrepreneur want you to know you're not alone. 

Creativity is the act of turning new and imaginative ideas into reality. Creativity is characterized by the ability to perceive the world in new ways, to find hidden patterns, to make connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena, and to generate solutions. Creativity involves two processes: thinking, then producing.

SOURCE: Creativity at Work | Creativity & Innovation Consulting

 

What is creativity in business?

Creativity in business is a way of thinking that inspires, challenges, and helps people to find innovative solutions and create opportunities out of problems. It’s the reason some companies wow us with new, amazing ideas, whilst others merely follow the beaten path. It’s the source of innovation and inspiration.

SOURCE: The Startup

HOW TO BOOST CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING IN 5 STEPS

1. Exercise two types of thinking involved in creativity–divergent and convergent

Creativity is characterized by novelty, and there are two broad processes that produce effective novelty:  divergent and convergent thinking. Divergent thinking can be described as generating ideas. Convergent thinking occurs when people evaluate their ideas to reach appropriate conclusions. In this sense, convergent thinking judges the ideas that arise during divergent thinking to determine their suitability.

2. Understanding the importance of a defocused and associative brain

What’s happening in the brain. Before we jump into our tips for improving divergent thinking to maximize your creative potential, let’s take a look at what’s happening in the brain during divergent thinking.

Step 3. Induce an approach orientation before creative thinking.

That is, think about what you want to achieve, not what you want to avoid.

Step 4. Take a break.

One of the easiest ways to help your brain defocus and become more associative in order to bolster your divergent thinking skills is to simply take a break from what you’re doing.

Step 5. Practice 

In general, the best way to get better at something is to practice. There are a wide variety of methods people can use to practice divergent thinking, such as brainstorming, free writing, and playing games.

 

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BOOKS ON CREATIVITY
Cover ArtThe Creativity Leap by Natalie Nixon 

ISBN: 9781523088256

Publication Date: 2020-06-23

Creativity is the engine for innovation, but too many people associate creativity solely with the arts, even though to be an incredible scientist, engineer, or entrepreneur requires immense creativity. The process of creativity combines wonder (inspiration, awe, audacity, and asking a lot of what-if questions) with rigor (discipline, practice, skill-building, and attention to detail).

Cover ArtLeading in the Digital World by Amit S. Mukherjee 

ISBN: 9780262358392

Publication Date: 2020-02-25

The definitive book on leadership in the digital era: why digital technologies call for leadership that emphasizes creativity, collaboration, and inclusivity. Certain ideas about business leadership are held to be timeless, and certain characteristics of leaders--often including a square jaw, a deep voice, and extroversion--are said to be universal. 

Image of book page. Click to open preview.Cognitive skills you need for the 21st century [electronic resource] by Reed, Stephen K. 

Publication Date: New York : Oxford University Press, 2020.

Trending skills include analytical thinking and innovation, active learning strategies, creativity, reasoning, and complex problem solving.

Cover ArtConceptual Blockbusting by James L. Adams 

ISBN: 9781541674042

Publication Date: 2019-09-03

More than three decades after its original publication, Conceptual Blockbusting has never been more relevant, powerful, or fresh. Integrating insights from the worlds of psychology, engineering, management, art, and philosophy, Adams identifies the key blocks (perceptual, emotional, cultural, environmental, intellectual, and expressive) that prevent us from realizing the full potential of our fertile minds. Employing unconventional exercises and other interactive elements, Adams shows individuals, teams, and organizations how to overcome these blocks, embrace alternative ways of thinking about complex problems, and celebrate the joy of creativity. 

Cover ArtThe Business of Creativity by Keith Granet 

ISBN: 9781616893941

Publication Date: 2016-12-06

Long known as the go-to management consultant of the design world, Keith Granet reveals more of his clear-eyed insights about running a creative business in this follow-up to his book The Business of Design. While aimed at creative enterprises, Granet's advice, quickly summarized as "know what you do best and focus on that," applies to any organization, small or large, commercial or nonprofit. 

 

Cover ArtCreative Strategy Generation: Using Passion and Creativity to Compose Business Strategies That Inspire Action and Growth by Bob Caporale 

ISBN: 0071850112

Publication Date: 2015-07-31

Successful strategies must have one key element to produce spectacular results for your business-- originality. However, pure ingenuity can be hard to produce in the noise of derivative ideas and worn out processes drowning out fresh progress--which is why you need Creative Strategy Generation to help guide you through tried-and-true business practices in a fresh, new, and exciting way. 

In a nutshell, critical thinking is the ability to think reasonably, detaching yourself from personal bias, emotional responses, and subjective opinions. It involves using the data at hand to make a reasoned choice without falling prey to the temptations of doing things simply because they’ve always been done a certain way.

SOURCE: 

10 BASIC RULES OF CRITICAL BUSINESS THINKING AND PROBLEM-SOLVING

1. Seek, absorb, and know all of the critical sources of information in your ecosystem

We live in an age if infinite information.  Everyone in a business environment should scan their business ecosystem through the information gathering from reliable and relevant sources of information.  This includes general news, business news, industry news, and digital sources such as groups, and experts.

2. Aggressive preparation

“Winging it” is simply not acceptable.  Critical thinking and problem solving starts with aggressive preparation which means thinking about thinking and making sure possibilities are covered and all sources of information have been used appropriately to prepare for a day, week, month, year, and all activities.

3. Plan your day and make realistic to-do lists

Aggressive preparation is the foundation for executing plans through proactive planning and to-do lists that are realistic.  By proactively planning and being in control of information and situations, the focus can be on the tasks at hand which should be the things necessary to execute the business strategy.

4. Don’t just be on time, be early

Showing up just when the day is starting or when meetings are starting isn’t proactive and doesn’t support critical thinking and problem solving; it probably makes things worse. Being 15 minutes early allows for the ability to see things that others don’t see (or hear) and that information can be used as part of the journey.

5. Be present, listen, and learn

First of all, put the smartphone AWAY!  Put it in your pocket. Unless you are in a critical position like sales or customer service where the execution of your strategy relies on your immediate reaction, put it AWAY.  Be present and focus.  Nobody can think critically if half their attention is on a leaderboard on buzzfeed.  It’s ridiculous.  After you put your phone away, then listen and learn. Each experience, each new piece of knowledge builds the ability to think more critically and solve problems of the business.

6. Share insights (but don’t blather)

People think critically and solve problems are able to clearly share their insights without talking too much, over-selling, or blathering on about non-sense.  By clearly sharing insights, you are then able to listen to reactions and fine-tune your approaches.

7. Acknowledge when you don’t know something

Even the best critical thinkers don’t know everything; but they do have a process for figuring things out.  Acknowledge when you don’t know something and proactively seek the right information through the right resources.

8. Be respectful in the process

Nobody likes a smartass-know-it-all.  The best critical thinkers are respectful and build resources though humility and gratitude.  They build a portfolio of knowledge and accumulate approaches and methods of problem solving that rely on other people.  The best critical thinkers understand a little sugar goes a lot further than a lot of vinegar.

9. Don’t cut corners

One of the most important aspects of good, strong critical thinking and problem solving is doing it right and not cutting any corners.  Cutting corners will inevitably give you the wrong solution and a poor business result.

10. Take pride in your work

And finally, the most important rule; take immense pride and ownership in your work.  By seeking to be the best at what you do and seeking to be the best for your company, you will easily find the right paths along the journey.  Pride is the most important ingredient in critical thinking and problem solving because it implicitly drives you to figure things out in ways that you didn’t think were previously possible.

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BOOKS ON CRITICAL THINKING
Cover ArtThink Again by Adam Grant 

ISBN: 9781984878106

Publication Date: 2021-02-02

The bestselling author of Give and Take and Originals examines the critical art of rethinking: learning to question your opinions and open other people's minds, which can position you for excellence at work and wisdom in life Intelligence is usually seen as the ability to think and learn, but in a rapidly changing world, there's another set of cognitive skills that might matter more: the ability to rethink and unlearn. Organizational psychologist Adam Grant is an expert on opening other people's minds--and our own.

Cover ArtThe art of deception : an introduction to critical thinking by Nicholás Capaldi; Miles Smit 

ISBN: 1633885984

Publication Date: 2019-09-27

Using a host of real-world examples, the authors show you how to win an argument, defend a case, recognize a fallacy, see through deception, persuade a skeptic, and turn defeat into victory. Whether you're evaluating a social media rumor or you just want to become more adept at making your points and analyzing others' arguments, The Art of Deception--now with an updated preface--will give you the intellectual tools to become a more effective thinker and speaker. Helpful exercises and discussion questions are also included.

Cover ArtThink for Yourself by Vikram Mansharamani 

ISBN: 1633699218

Publication Date: 2020-06-16

We've outsourced too much of our thinking. Too often, we've stopped thinking for ourselves.  What we need is a new approach for integrating these information sources more effectively, harnessing the value they provide without undermining our ability to think for ourselves. 

Cover ArtHumility Is the New Smart by Edward D. Hess; Katherine Ludwig 

ISBN: 1626568766

Publication Date: 2020-05-12

Smart machines will take over millions of jobs in manufacturing, office work, the service sector, the professions, you name it. We need to excel at critical, creative, and innovative thinking and at genuinely engaging with others--things machines can't do well. The crucial mindset underlying NewSmart is humility--not self-effacement but an accurate self-appraisal: acknowledging you can't have all the answers, remaining open to new ideas, and committing yourself to lifelong learning. Drawing on extensive multidisciplinary research,

The best definition of teamwork in business involves a group of individuals working together to complete a task or a large goal. A leader's role in developing and managing the team is critical to team success.

SOURCE: Image result for chron logo

10 BENEFITS OF TEAMWORK IN BUSINESS

1. Great ideas don't come from lone geniuses

2. Diverse perspectives can help you come up with winning innovations

3. Team work can make you happier

4. When you work in a team, you grow as an individual

5. Sharing the workload eases burnout

6. Dividing the work lets you grow your skills

7. Recognition from other team members can improve your productivity

8. Working in a team helps you take risks that pay off

9. When you work in a team, you'll feel less stressed

10. Good communication boosts your creativity

 

SOURCE: Atlassian logo

 
BOOKS ON TEAMWORKING
Cover ArtWe're all in this together : creating a team culture of high performance, trust, and belonging by Mike Robbins. 

ISBN: 1401958141

Publication Date: Carlsbad, California : Hay House, Inc., [2020]

In this book, Mike Robbins dives deep into the ways great teams build trust, collaborate, and perform at the highest level. The book's core principles include fostering an environment of psychological safety, honoring diversity and inclusion, addressing and navigating conflict, building trust, and a maintain a balance of healthy expectations and empathy. 

 

Cover ArtAccountable Leaders by Vince Molinaro 

ISBN: 9781119550112

Publication Date: 2020-06-10

Proven methods to push your organization to its maximum potential with responsible leadership Accountable Leaders is the real-world guide to propelling your business to extraordinary levels of performance and achievement. This invaluable guide will provide the tools and knowledge to take you and your organization to incredible levels of performance and achievement. 

Cover ArtBeyond Team Building by W. Gibb Dyer; Jeffrey H. Dyer 

ISBN: 9781119551409

Publication Date: 2019-09-24

The book helps the reader assess how his/her team is performing on each of the 5Cs--context, composition, competencies, change, and collaborative leadership, and discusses options concerning how to improve team performance along each of these dimensions. This book provides the next generation of team leaders, team members, and team consultants with the knowledge and skills they need to create effective and high functioning teams.

 

Cover ArtStaring down the Wolf by Mark Divine 

ISBN: 9781250231581

Publication Date: 2020-03-03

 What does it take to command a team of elite individuals? It requires a commitment to seven key principles: Courage, Trust, Respect, Growth, Excellence, Resiliency, and Alignment. All of these are present in an elite team which commits to them deeply in order to forge the character worthy of uncommon success.

...Any new venture, whether business or personal, entails unknowns. And unknowns mean there’s risk. Entrepreneurs embrace this risk, not risk in general, but a special kind of risk. Researcher Sally Caird calls it “calculated risk taking” and describes it this way:

“Calculated risk-taking is operationally defined as the ability to deal with incomplete information and act on a risky option, that requires skill, to actualize challenging but realistic goals.”

SOURCEImage result for forbes logo

 7 IMPORTANT BENEFITS THAT TAKING CALCULATED RISK IN BUSINESS CAN BRING

1. Risk urges you to learn new skills and evolve already existing ones

2. Fear of failure gets obliterated once you embrace a risk-taking culture

3. It inspires creative thinking

4. In “fight or flight” situations you can really define your true objectives

5. You boost your employees’ self-confidence

6. The team learns to trust each other when nothing else is left to do

7. It will give your employees a sense of ownership, a sense of exploration, the motivation to take it one step further, to kick it up a notch.

SOURCE: All-inclusive business software for project-driven teams | Elorus

 
BOOKS ON RISK-TAKING

Cover ArtRisk Forward by Victoria Labalme 

ISBN: 9781401961800

Publication Date: 2021-03-16

Every entrepreneur is in search of their next move-that next idea with a sharp edge or fresh angle that inspires and ignites. But how do you know when to trust your gut and when to cut your losses and move on? Victoria uses principles drawn from the performing arts to prove that uncertainty is not the enemy, but a crucial step on the path, and to show that even when your plans and goals aren't clear, you can follow your curiosity, interests, and ideas forward. 

Cover ArtThe Art of Risk by Kayt Sukel 

ISBN: 9781426214721

Publication Date: 2016-03-01

Are risk-takers born or made? Why are some more willing to go out on a limb (so to speak) than others? How do we weigh the value of opportunities large or small that may have the potential to change the course of our lives?   These are just a few of the questions that author Kayt Sukel tackles, applying the latest research in neuroscience and psychology to compelling real-world situations.

MORE HELPFUL RESOURCES

DATABASES___________________

 

Accessible at all NYPL locations and outside the Library with your NYPL card Project Muse -- Provides full-text access to scholarly journals and articles from top-quality sources. Enter your keyword in the search box (such as "creativity and problem solving"). Results can be filtered by the categories on the right side of the page.

 

Restricted: This database is accessible at certain NYPL locations only. Please see description for details. ProQuest Research Library -- Provides full-text print, as well as audio and video materials from books, magazines, newspapers, journals, and non-print sources. Enter your keywords or phrases in the search box (such as "problem solving and teamwork"). Results can be filtered a variety of ways.

 

Accessible at all NYPL locations and outside the Library with your NYPL card Academic OneFile -- Provides full-text print, as well as audio and video materials from books, magazines, newspapers, journals, and non-print sources. Enter your keywords or phrases in the search box (such as "problem solving and emotional intelligence"). Results can be filtered a variety of ways.

 

Accessible at all NYPL locations and outside the Library with your NYPL card General OneFile -- Interesting collection of articles from books, journals, magazines, and videos. Enter your keywords and phrases in the search box (such as "problem solving and creativity").

 

Restricted: This database is accessible at certain NYPL locations only. Please see description for details. PsycINFO -- Contains numerous articles on the various aspects of problem solving from an intellectual perspective. Results can be filtered by date, language, geography, and more.

WEBSITES________________

 

NEA Logo | National Endowment for the Arts

HOW CREATIVITY WORKS IN THE BRAIN 

 

 

American Psychological Association - Wikipedia

THE SCIENCE OF CREATIVITY 

 

 

Rich Learning Solutions

THE LINK BETWEEK EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE AND PROBLEM SOLVING

 

 

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