Friday, August 10, 2007

Thinking Differently About Problem Solving

We are obsessed with coming up with solutions but rarely do we step back to truly consider the most effective process for generating optimal solutions consistently. And we're quite reliant on mental heuristics, which are certainly helpful in our day to day lives, that deceive us into making intuitive but sub-optimal decisions in ways we are unaware of. And, finally, we're influenced by conventional wisdom which may not be so, well, wise.

A nifty (only 19-page) essay on the topic of generating optimal solutions more consistently that I ran across today on

Mind of the Innovator: Taming the Traps of Traditional Thinking
By Matthew E. May

Matthew May [...] brings our attention to the ‘Seven Sins of Solutions’, the traditional ways of thinking that prevent us from divining the most accurate—and elegant—of solutions to any problem solving situation. Using accessible examples, you’ll find yourself saying “Yes! That happens to me!” as you read. Lucky for us, May also provides methods to avoid those deadly sins and train our brains to think differently, allowing our inner innovator to flourish.

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