A new infographic titled, “A Visual Guide to Solving Difficult Problems (Backed by Science)” seeks to give you the formula to creatively solve problems in your small business.
The infographic uses a formula created by mathematician George Polya in 1945 with insights from 7pace, creators of a timetracker software for teams. Polya’s basic four step problem solving process has been modified using the new ideas collected by 7pace so you can apply them to find creative solutions to your particular small business difficulties.
If there is a formula for solving problems, small businesses owners would probably be first in line to find out what it is. That is because owners wear many hats, and the challenges they face run the gamut. From healthcare to cash flow, regulations to taxes: anything can be part of the problems du jour faced by your business.
In the 7pace blog, marketing consultant Tyler Hakes writes, “There’s no sure-fire way to solve a difficult problem. But science tells us that with the right approach, we can help ourselves find the insight we need to tackle just about anything.”
How to Solve Complex Business Problems
With that in mind, here are the steps Polya devised 73 years ago along with the insights 7pace has come up with for creatively solving your problems.
Polya’s four step process involves understanding the problem, devising a plan, carrying out the plan, and looking back. If you follow each step, the approach makes a lot of sense.
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Understanding a problem will lead you to devising a plan to solve it. Carrying out the plan is the obvious next step but, as any small business owner knows, is sometimes easier said than done. (Have you experienced the challenges of execution in your own business?) The last part of the process involves looking back. Reflect on what you have accomplished, what has worked and what hasn’t, and possibly look for ways to avoid running into the same problem again.
To this process, 7pace adds new insights, which it says are key to creative solutions. Steps include drawing out the problem, introducing new perspectives, throwing out every idea and more. For example, changes in perspective can result in flashes of understanding, thus bringing something you know but haven’t considered in the past to the surface.
You can take a look at the full infographic below, and share whether Polya’s formula and 7pace’s insights have helped you solve some of your small business problems.