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Schulich Executive Learning Centre

Critical Thinking and Strategic Problem Solving Skills for Leaders

Next dates

Nov 18—19
2 days
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
CAD 2650 ≈USD 1970
CAD 1325 per day
Apr 6—7, 2020
2 days
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
CAD 2650 ≈USD 1970
CAD 1325 per day

Description

Tackle everday business challenges, critically analyze problems and generate breakthrough solutions to the toughest organizational issues.

This course provides rapid, intuitive tools that enable executives to quickly cut to the heart of strategic and organizational decisions, focusing on areas that have the greatest impact on performance.

Learn a step-by-step process for diagnosing business issues, generating options and implementing innovative solutions.

About This Seminar

The course addresses the three basic levels of business challenge:

  • Making strategic decisions

The key to great decision-making is clarity in generating options and criteria under challenging conditions. You will learn how to master this process.

  • Solving problems that can be solved

Effective problem solving begins with careful definition of the problem. Executives will learn a set of proven approaches for rational and creative problem solving.

  • Managing difficult dilemmas

When a problem is highly complex, and resistant to multiple attempts at solution, it is a dilemma. Participants will use the 5-step Dialectical Solutions Method (DSM) to tackle their toughest strategic dilemmas.

What You Will Learn

  • Learn a professional problem solving methodology which allows you to creatively manage strategic dilemmas and solve business problems
  • Prioritize problems and establish practical and achievable action plans
  • Apply new critical thinking approaches and overcome the three barriers to strategic problem solving
  • Train others – effectively direct project team members to think critically and deploy strategic solutions
  • Learn to clearly define and frame organizational problems requiring solutions
  • Use the Dialectical Solutions Method™ (DSM) to manage highly complex strategic challenges in your organization
  • Engage key stakeholders and team members
  • Understand how to analyze issues and identify the best possible solution

Course content details

Critical Thinking and Strategic Problem Solving Skills for Leaders

  1. Understanding the Problem-Solving Hierarchy
  • A senior executive’s blueprint
  • Examining the universe of business problems
  • The three basic levels of business challenge: making decisions, solving problems and managing dilemmas
  • The ‘decisions to dilemmas model’ as a form of problem-solving triage
  1. Making Effective Strategic Business Decisions

The three main barriers to strategic problem solving:

  • Faulty definition
  • Wrong level of complexity
  • Negative bias

Identifying available options

Establishing useful time frames

Gathering and evaluating decision criteria

Following a structured decision process

  1. Structured Problem-Solving Techniques for Leaders
  • Solving problems that can be solved
  • Defining your problem to ensure resolution
  • Identifying barriers that prevent successful outcome
  • How serious is the problem – what level of repair is needed?
  • Using rational analysis tools to problem solve
  • The art of creative envisioning to address underlying issues
  1. Managing Dilemmas: When Problems Can’t Be Solved

How do you solve important, highly complex challenges?

Understanding the context surrounding a strategic dilemma

Solving personal dilemmas vs. organizational dilemmas

Using the 5-step Dialectical Solutions Method (DSM) to solve dilemmas:

  • Step 1: issues and challenges
  • Step 2: core dilemma definition
  • Step 3: strategic modelling and analysis
  • Step 4: gap analysis
  • Step 5: resolution planning

Practising the DSM model on a current issue

  1. Critical Thinking Skills
  • How to effectively frame, explore and reframe strategic issues
  • Responding effectively to competitive change
  • Evaluating solutions
  • Identifying market opportunities
  • Implementing, monitoring and adjusting your solutions
  1. Overcoming Organizational Barriers to Success
  • Eight archetypical dilemmas facing leaders
  • The core dilemma
  • Applying the DSM model to your business
  • Navigating internal roadblocks that derail great solutions
  • Project management techniques to keep initiatives on track

Who should attend

Any senior manager, VP or director can immediately apply the strategic planning techniques, including:

  • Corporate-level managers and VPs from all departments
  • Operations and administrative officers
  • Project managers who lead complex projects
  • Sales and marketing team members who must respond to new competitive threats

Experts

Biography Alex is an internationally renowned management instructor specializing in the creation of innovative work processes and information systems. As co-founder of Digital 4Sight, a global technology-solutions consulting firm with headquarters in Toronto and San Jose, Alex specializes in str...

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