Complex Problem Solving

IMD Executive Education

How long?

  • 5 weeks
  • online

IMD Executive Education


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Who should attend

You are a team leader or mid-level manager developing a new strategy, leading a turnaround, reorganizing or improving your organization's impact. You are an analyst looking to apply a new problem-solving methodology. If you are looking to improve profitability, negotiate disruption and re-orienting the R&D initiatives withing your organization than this program is for you.

Your class is individually put together through a selection process to ensure that you experience the most impactful learning with a truly diverse group of global peers. Your class will become a trusted resource, encourage your learning journey and surprise you in many unanticipated beneficial ways both during and beyond your classroom experience.

About the course

  • Frame the problem and diagnose your current state
  • Create innovative solutions and identify key stakeholders’ needs, reframing as needed
  • Decide on the on-balance best solution and support it with aligned decisions
  • Engage stakeholders throughout and, eventually, convince them to support the solution

Use problem solving to generate new and creative ideas

Do you need to understand the essential elements of effective problem-solving? Do you want to improve your decision-making skills and brainstorm new strategies for solving complex problems?

This online course gives you a clear process and versatile tools to solve complex problems, both professional and personal. You will not be limited by traditional strategy frameworks. On the contrary, you will be key to unlocking the best creative problem-solving techniques by investigating complex questions with issue maps and using logic to promote creativity.

This critical thinking course is a toolkit that integrates knowledge based on both theoretical and empirical evidence from many disciplines and explains it in accessible terms.

Frame your problem, think critically and engage with your stakeholders

As a manager or aspiring leader, you know that to rise through the ranks requires strong and creative problem-solving skills. To get to the top, business leaders need to act and react to the priorities set for the organization.

They must exercise their critical thinking capabilities and decide on which issues to focus on and when. So, what are the essential elements of effective problem-solving that you can apply to your particular scenario?

The program is structured into five units, covering the following topics:

Unit 1: Use an integrative process

  • Learn to recognize when a problem requires a systematic approach
  • Articulate how the process works and how each part contributes
  • Understand why engaging stakeholders is critical throughout the process

Unit 2: Identify your problem

  • Learn how to develop an SCQ sequence and how to frame your problem
  • Apply the Holding Hands, Dolly the Sheep and Watson rules to the SCQ sequence to make it robust

Unit 3: Understand your problem

  • Learn how to map out all the possible problem causes using a WHY map
  • Identify which causes are at the root of the problem
  • Update the SCQ sequence to integrate new information
  • Learn how to apply MECE thinking

Unit 4: Create a high-impact solution

  • Identify and organize all the potential solutions using a HOW map and
  • determine which are feasible
  • Identify a set of criteria that represents your stakeholders’ views
  • Create a decision matrix to rank the attractiveness of the options

Unit 5: Align actions and convince stakeholders

  • Craft a storyline to defend your thinking while being empathetic to stakeholders
  • Learn when it makes sense to use other frameworks
  • Know how to see the big picture and plan your next actions


Albrecht Enders

Albrecht Enders is Professor of Strategy and Innovation and Dean of Programs and Innovation at IMD. His major research, teaching and consulting interest is the reaction of companies to radical changes in their environment. Professor Enders has worked for clients such as ABB, Deloitte, Deutsche B...

Arnaud Chevallier

Arnaud Chevallier is Professor of Strategy at IMD. He prepares Executives for the strategic challenges that corporations face in today’s dynamic global marketplace by helping them make better decisions in volatile and uncertain conditions. Arnaud’s research, teaching, and consulting activities p...

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Complex Problem Solving at IMD Executive Education

From  CHF 1 950$2,207

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Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

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