Executive and Professional Development

Critical Thinking and Strategic Problem Solving

Organizational success rests in the hands of leaders who possess effective problem solving skills. Successful business leaders are able to examine problems and opportunities critically, and implement solutions to respond to competition and improve performance in their organization.

This seminar gives you a step-by-step process for problem solving, exploring business alternatives, and generating highly creative solutions in any area of your business. Based on Alex Lowy's new best-selling business book No Problem, this seminar provides examples, processes and approaches that enable managers to quickly cut to the heart of strategic and organizational decisions.

Participants will receive a copy of Alex Lowy's best-selling business book No Problem.

PRE-SEMINAR PREPARATION: Prior to the course you will receive some readings and a letter from your instructor. We ask that you read the material and come prepared to discuss it.

Receive 14 PDUs towards your PMI® Continuing Certification Requirements.

DATES - 2 Day Seminar

November 16 - 17, 2015

 $1,275 + HST
Facilitator: Alex Lowy, BA, MES
Location: Saint Mary's University Campus, 4th Floor Sobey Building, 903 Robie Street

Program Content

Understanding the Problem Solving Hierarchy

CriticalThinkingImage1The three basic levels of business challenge: making decisions, solving problems, managing dilemmas
  • The 'Decisions to Dilemmas Model'

Making Effective Strategic Business Decisions

  • The three main barriers to strategic problem solving: faulty definition; wrong level of complexity; negative bias
  • Following a structured decision process

Structured Problem Solving Techniques

  • Solving problems that can be solved
  • Using Rational Analysis tools to problem solve
  • The art of Creative Envisioning to address underlying issues

Managing Dilemmas: When Problems Can't Be Solved

  • How do you solve important, highly complex challenges?
  • Using the Five-Step Dialectical Solutions Method™ (DSM) 
    • Step 1: Issues and Challenges
    • Step 2: Core Dilemma Definition
    • Step 3: Strategic Modeling
    • Step 4: Gap Analysis
    • Step 5: Resolution Planning

Critical Thinking Skills

  • Principles of critical thinking
  • How to effectively frame, explore and reframe strategic issues

Overcoming Organizational Barriers to Success

  • Eight typical dilemmas facing leaders
  • Navigating internal roadblocks that derail great solutions

What You Will Learn

  • Today's best practices in critical thinking, decision making and problem solving
  • To quickly identify the three basic problem levels
  • To clearly define and frame organizational problems requiring solutions
  • To use advanced planning tools to manage highly complex strategic challenges
  • How to engage key stakeholders and team members
  • How to apply new problem solving skills to your own strategic, organizational and leadership issues
  • Gain skills to train others in effective problem solving and decision making

Who Should Attend?

You will benefit from this seminar if you:

  • are a senior manager, VP or director
  • are a corporate-level manager from any department
  • are an operations or administrative officer
  • are a project manager who must solve complex projects
  • are a sales and marketing team member who must respond to new competitive threats

YorkImageThis program is delivered in partnership with Schulich Executive Education Centre at York University.