The PJ (poor joke) above might no longer remain a PJ if banana peel is replaced by a typical problematic situation one encounters in daily routine. The question remains unanswered then: Why do some people find it difficult to act beyond cure? They do think 'Prevention is The Best Cure' though! I was no different from them! But now my journey is gathering speed, hopefully in the direction that the blog is supposed to drive towards. Checkout my other blogs and work at

Thursday, 7 November 2013

In A Big-Problem?: Wear Hats To Solve It !!

Life is about tackling gaps! Gaps among:

1/ what we 'want' (i.e. what we desire to have),
2/ what we 'need' (i.e. what we need to survive) and
3/ what we 'have' (i.e. our current situation).

These gaps are referred to as problems in day to day language. Gaps may be in terms of physical, mental, financial, social or spiritual health, both at individual & societal level.

So life is about overcoming various hurdles or problem-situations in order to bridge gaps at individual & societal level. In positive sense, life is about opportunities to add value to self & society while tackling problematic situations.

This post is an extension of my blog-post titled In a Problem?: No Problem ! Dwell A While !! In that post, I dwelled upon the fact that 'dwelling' provides 'adult-in-you' to 'respect' others like 'adults'. It provides an opportunity to look at a given problematic situation in totality. It allows asking 'what-when-where-who-why-how' questions to it's components without a bias.

This ability is particularly important in order to solve chronic problems as well as crises and larger issues.

Sometimes acknowledging a problem as a problem itself is a problem as in P.J. (Poor Joke) in punchline of this blog where Mr Foolhardy falls again-and-again at same place! Like Foolhardy, some do 'love falling' and getting 'cured again-n-again' rather than taking preventive 'care'. Some hardly go beyond first-aid attitude during entire lifetime. 

Why is this so? What should the case really be?

One reason may be lack of respecting discipline: the undesirable habit nurtured by both, one's own parent-ego and child-ego. Other one may be lack of training  the adult-ego to solve complicated problems.

One way to overcome the former reason is instituting strict disciplinary measures as a stick on undesired behavior of parent-and-child-ego. The other way may be to install measures for attitudinal change so that adult-ego takes active charge of the situation to steer it to a desired one.

This blog-post is about tackling the latter i.e. training mind (the adult-ego) on importance of 'dwelling meaningfully' in order to improve effectiveness of problem solving.

Problem Solving Steps

Problems can be categorized in four quadrants based on combination of:

1/ ease or difficulty level of identifying them and/or their causes and
2/ ease or difficulty in finding and/or implementing countermeasures on them.

Difficult-Difficult-type problems in particular need to be resolved step-by-step by breaking them down into smaller stones so that prioritized one can be taken one at a time. It's like breaking a mountain over a period of time in steps of blasts in a typical mine and thereafter hammering the larger (post-blast) rocks into smaller stones with an objective of making them worthy of utility.

Need for undertaking logical steps with equanimity gets enhanced with rising level of difficulty to identify the problems and/or to resolve them.

 7-steps in the Plan-Do-Check-Act Improvement (Kaizen) Cycle are:

Plan Step-1: Define a problem or a goal to create an innovative utility-value
Plan Step-2: Observe gaps in the current situation with reference to the goal (This is done after the first-aid solution is put in place)
Plan Step-3: Analyse and find root-causes of the gaps
Plan Step-4: Plan countermeasures to prevent occurrence and recurrence of causes
Do Step-5: Implement countermeasures
Check Step-6: Study effect of the countermeasures 
Act Step-7: 7a/ Standardize so that favorable effects are sustained 
Step-7b: Rotate the above steps: 1/ until favorable effects are achieved in case of unfavorable effects, 2/ to attain higher levels in case of favorable effects, 3/ to take a new improvement goal

''Dwelling'' on a predefined agenda in each problem-solving-step allows flow of unbiased creative thoughts useful for complicated problem solving. It allows 'brain-writing' those. It involves 'speaking-to-self' by asking 'why-why & what-where-who-when-why-how' kind of questions and 'writing' the evolved thoughts. 

This is contrary to 'speaking-to-others' as in brain-storming. Such a 'don't-speak' rule wearing a pink-hat virtually to represent that the problem-solver is in 'dwelling-mode' allows flow of 'wild-thoughts' that otherwise may get killed as in brain-storming.

I have added the Pink-Hat as the 7th-Hat to Edward De Bono's idea of 6-Hats: White, Red, Green, Black, Yellow And Blue, each with a purpose.

The Pink-Hat as a common one represents 'brain-writing' activity as above in each of the 7-steps that I have connected to an appropriate hat each. Pink-Hat is used in combination with each of Bono's 6- hats primary to a corresponding step. Each hat forces adult-ego to focus primarily on the agenda predefined for that particular hat and that particular step.

In step-1, Pink-Hat begins with taking ('brain-writing') inventory of problems. Then a priority problem is picked up to solve. As stated earlier, Pink-Hat is used in each step in combination with corresponding hat of that step to 'brain-write'.

In step-2, White-Hat is used to find factual gaps in an unbiased manner.

In step-3, Red-Hat is used to find root-causes of the gaps without keeping any emotional attachment to the problem. 

In step-4, Green-Hat is used to find alternative ideas (innovative countermeasures) to arrest root-causes.

In step-5, Black-Hat is used to critically assess risk while innovatively implementing ideas (countermeasures) .

In step-6, Yellow-Hat is used to assess benefits of the countermeasures taken.

In step-7, Blue-Hat is used to take an overview in an unbiased manner.

Going back to the earlier blog-post, the problem therein that of locked-door not opening was Easy-Easy-type. However applying structured steps as above could have yielded additional opportunities as follows over and above the first-aid solution that 'clicked' then:

1/ Create a 'how-to' operating-procedure for odd-season working of equipment,
2/ Create a 'checklist' to prevent abnormal behavior of equipment in odd-season,
3/ Create an innovative-design or material for the door and lock capable of handling abnormal conditions.

So one can imagine the potential and impact of application of hats in structured steps in case of  Easy-Difficult-type, Difficult-Easy-type and in particular that of Difficult-Difficult-type chronic and complicated crises situations.

Also read a few relevant blog-posts hereunderPlease do consider leaving a comment or sharing this post.

Old-Problems, New-Reasons !
Ant Knocks Elephant Down 
Will It Work Here?
Ridiculous Poison-culture versus Maverick Kaizen-culture 
WOW Work-Culture: By Telling or Selling 
IQ-EQ-or-SQ: What-is-more-important 
Talent-Is-Latent: Enable It! 
Judge If It's Paralysis-By-Analysis 
Will It Work Here
Suggestions On-Sale, None-To-Buy 
Does recognition really matter 
Who Comes First: Consumer Or Customer ? 
Treat Root-causes, Not Symptoms ! 
Do You Ask Right Questions?
Am I 'Short-sighted' or 'Long-sighted'

Prevention: The Best Cure! ... Is it really so?
Treat Root-causes, Not Symptoms !
When Safety Becomes Sorry 
Drove To Hell ... Almost !  
WOW Work-Culture: By Telling or Selling 
In a Problem?: No Problem ! Dwell A While !!
In-big-problem? Wear-hats-to-solve-it! Part-2
How To Make A Difference
Big-Be Or Bug-Be !
Make checklists your friends
Do You Cleanup-After-Crisis
That's How Morons Work
You seem Reasonable if you appear Un-reasonable

1 comment:

  1. Hats Off to him. He has used all the Hats.. Watch this video...!
    I have such used-syringes but yet use them as innovatively as he's used them.