Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Problem Solving (was Ambition)

Editors Note: No, the above photo has nothing to do with this post - but after much angst (bleeding out onto these pages) Beau finally passed Training Levels Four Contacts and I just had to share! Just don't ask how Zachary is doing...

As a refresher, here are our problem solving steps from "The Happy Manager":

  • Find the right problem to solve
  • Define the problem
  • Analyze the Problem
  • Develop Possibilities
  • Select the Best Solution
  • Implement
  • Evaluate and Learn

This is what I have so far:

Step 1: Find the right problem to solve
  • Lack of progress toward goals.

Step 2: Define the problem

Continuing on...

Looking over yesterday's answers to The Happy Manager's questions, I feel the following subset best defines the problem:

  • I want to be making verifiable progress toward my goals
  • I have been having difficulty motivating myself to work on the things on my [goals] list
  • Class time is no longer fun (for me) but work.
  • I want to work on fun stuff, but know I should be working on "real" things (like duration activities, Training Levels things, etc.) and even the fun stuff I have on my list just doesn't seem that much fun lately.
  • [I want to] see the boys enjoying themselves learning new things.
  • [I want to] realistically enter Zachary in a Rally trial this fall.
  • [ The problem began when ]I fell out of the training habit/rut and haven't found the rhythm again.
  • I want to return to the happy way I used to feel after class time, when I could cross things off the list or watch the videos I made, and know that progress was made.

Now I just need to create a problem statement out of that. I did a bit more googling, and came across Einstein's Secret to Amazing Problem Solving, which had several useful nuggets, including:

  • Find Multiple Perspectives (my POV, the dog's POV,...)
  • Assume a myriad of solutions: "In what ways might I..."
  • Make it positive
  • ... and they even suggested a formula for the stuck: “In what ways (action) (object) (qualifier) (end result)?” as in "In what ways might I package (action) my book (object) more attractively (qualifier) so people will buy more of it (end result)?"

THEREFORE, keeping all the above in mind, here is my problem statement:

  • In what ways might I improve class (training) so both the dogs and I will enjoy what we are working on and I will remain enthusiastic about reaching my goals.


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