HITS: Effective problem-solving … the five key skills.

HITS: HomaFiles’ Ideas To Share

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to kick-off the MSB Consulting Club’s pioneering extracurricular series on problem-solving.

My overall message was that there are 5 key problem-solving skills that consulting firms are looking for …


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Here are some of the Homa-isms that framed each of the skills

(1) Identify core issues quickly

  • “Managers faced with a complex problem typically end up solving the wrong problem.”
  • “The number of core business problems is not infinite … though variants abound.”
  • “Answer the question that was asked, not the question that you want to answer.”
  • “Some people go for the the jugular, others go for the capillaries.”

(2) Generate testable hypotheses

  • “For analytical efficiency, it’s always best to try to validate (or refute) a hypothesis.”

(3) Gather and analyze facts efficiently

  • “There are two types of people in the world: simplifiers and complicators”
  • “Do analyses … not just calculations”

(4) Craft creative, practical solutions

  • “More people seem able to identify problems than to solve them.”
  • “Better an imperfect solution that can be implemented than a perfect solution that can’t.”

(5) Syndicate support and mobilize

  • “Getting the answer is the easy part. The hard part is convincing people to do it.”
  • “In baseball, pitching is 80% of the game … the percentage is higher in business.”

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In subsequent posts, we’ll dig a little deeper into each of the 5 essential skills.

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