Problem Solving

Problem Solving (Introduction)

Functions of Brain:

Neo-Cortex: seat of reasoning and logic

Limbic System: link to the outside world, signals when to “flight or fight”

Brain stem: controls physiological functions such as breathing and heart rate

What does Brain do?

    The main function of the brain is to make sense of complexity which is accomplished by identifying patterns.

It get filtered..

    Perception acts to filter observations


    The brain is ‘lazy’ – settles for the first pattern which matches


What is Intelligence?

    The ability to recognize an existing pattern. Proceeds when matched or rejects when the pattern deviates.


What is Creativity?

    Ability to generate a new pattern – may or may not become accepted by the community. E.g. creativity drives humor.  


What is a problem? 

   "A problem is a gap between what is desired and what is or can be achieved."

- Problems can occur both before and after a plan of action is devised.
- Experience often dictates the approach used to solve a problem.

Common problem causes:

  • Gap between objectives and capability
  • Errors in reasoning or bad calculations
  • Over/under estimation of supply/demand
  • Issues with attitudes, perceptions and fears
  • Ignoring emotional aspects in decisions
  • Focus on detail – miss the big picture
  • .......

Categorizing problems

  • ‘One right answer’ problems
  • Insight problems – needs creativity
  • Wicked problems – needs to be tried out
  • Vicious problems – human element
  • Fuzzy problems – multiple scenarios

Problem Solving



 The 7-Step Reactive Problem Solving Method:




- Problem Solving and Decision Making at
- 7-Step Problem Solving Method