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What’s the Problem?

This is our comprehensive guide to problem solving, packed with 9 tools and 35 pages of essential tips. Most problem solving guides and processes begin with defining the problem. Of course this is important and you’ll find that and much more in this guide. But first we show you how to answer two critical questions: “Is it the right problem to solve?” “What opportunities are created by this problem?” Both of these principles are understated ideas at the heart of effective problem solving. But they’re often missed in our rush towards finding solutions! See how What’s the Problem can help find a better way to manage.

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Product Description

Content: 35 pages and 5 tools

Format: Downloadable pdf with in-text, hyper-links for easy navigation.

What are the problems with problem solving?  This guide is designed to help you find the right problems then take steps to address them.

It will help you to:

  • Think about what you do when you don’t know what to do!
  • Define problem solving.
  • Solve the right problems.
  • Apply a 7 step problem solving process.
  • Be creative in generating possible solutions.
  • Get to the root causes of problems.
  • Solve problems with groups and teams.
  • Find the best problem solving tool ever – a good question!


  • What is problem solving – what do you do when you don’t know what to do?
  • Defining problem solving
  • Solving the right problems
  • The 7 step problem solving process
  • Positive thinking – create options
  • Getting to the root cause of problems
  • Problem solving in groups and teams
  • The best problem solving tool ever – a good question!
  • Problem solving – some final thoughts


  • Tool 1: When you don’t know what to do
  • Tool 2: Defining questions for problem solving
  • Tool 3: Finding the right problems to solve
  • Tool 4: Problem solving check-list
  • Tool 4a: Using the question check-list with your team
  • Tool 5: Problem analysis in 4 steps
  • Tool 5a: Using 4 Step problem analysis with your team
  • Tool 6: Questions that create possibilities
  • Tool 6a: Using the 5 questions with your team
  • Tool 6b: Putting creativity to work – 5 alternate questions
  • Tool 6c: Workshop outline
  • Tool 7: Evaluating alternatives
  • Tool 8: Creative thinking techniques A-Z
  • Tool 9: The 5 Whys technique