A good climate for problem solving

The success of a company can depend to a large extent on the ability of its staff to solve problems effectively, both in their day-to-day work and through innovation. This applies not only to senior management, but at all levels in an organisation.

It's not enough simply to teach effective problem solving techniques. The working environment has a very powerful influence on the individual's ability to solve problems effectively and it needs to be supportive and stimulating.

To be truly effective in your work and to contribute to the success of your organisation, you need to be aware of the influence of the working environment on problem solving. This enables you to

  • recognise and overcome negative influences on your own problem solving, and
  • help to create an environment which will support others in their problem solving.
Climate and teamwork

How the working environment influences people

The influence of our working environment is subtle and diverse. In addition to the physical environment, the processes and procedures we are required to follow in our work and the attitudes and values of those around us can help or hinder our problem solving; This happens in many ways, for example

  • at work we tend to adopt the, general attitude towards problem solving
  • we will only tackle problems which come to us through accepted channels
  • we will be more motivated to solve problems in innovative ways if there is greater 'reward' than for producing a regular solution
  • we will not take risks with new ideas if failure brings severe criticism.

What factors shape the working environment?

The elements which compose the working environment can be divided broadly into three interdependent groups:

  • the company's policies and procedures
  • the style of management
  • the physical environment.

bad climate

Read the next article: Company policies and procedures effect on problem solving

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