Problem-Solving Techniques For Business People

Problem-solving techniques in business need to leverage simple decision-making models that can help solve problems quickly and effectively, without getting stuck.

7 Steps To Problem-Solving

The seven steps to problem-solving are a disciplined and methodical approach to identifying and addressing the root cause of problems. Instead, a more robust approach involves working through a problem using the hypothesis-driven framework of the scientific method. Each viable hypothesis is tested using a range of specific diagnostics, and recommendations are made.

Feynman Technique

The Feynman Technique is a mental model and strategy for learning something new and committing it to memory. It is often used in exam preparation and for understanding difficult concepts. Physicist Richard Feynman elaborated on this powerful technique to explain anything.

5 Whys Method

The 5 Whys method is an interrogative problem-solving technique that seeks to understand cause-and-effect relationships. At its core, the technique is used to identify the root cause of a problem by asking the question of why five times. This might unlock new ways to think about a problem and therefore devise a creative solution to solve it.

Fishbone Diagram

The Fishbone Diagram is a diagram-based technique used in brainstorming to identify potential causes for a problem. Thus, it is a visual representation of cause and effect. The problem or effect serves as the head of the fish. Possible causes of the problem are listed on the individual “bones” of the fish. This encourages problem-solving teams to consider a wide range of alternatives.

Lightning Decision Jam

The Lightning Decision Jam
The Lightning Decision Jam (LDJ) is a means of making fast decisions that provide quick direction. The Lightning Decision Jam was developed by design agency AJ&Smart in response to the inefficiency of business meetings. Borrowing ideas from the core principles of design sprints, AJ&Smart created the Lightning Decision Jam.


The less-is-better effect was first proposed by behavioral scientist Christopher Hsee in a 1998 study. He noted in the experiment that a person giving a $45 scarf as a gift was perceived to be more generous than someone giving a $55 coat. The less-is-better effect describes the consumer tendency to choose the worse of two options – provided that each option is presented separately.

Eisenhower Matrix

The Eisenhower Matrix is a tool that helps businesses prioritize tasks based on their urgency and importance; named after Dwight D. Eisenhower, President of the United States from 1953 to 1961, the matrix helps businesses and individuals differentiate between the urgent and important to prevent urgent things (seemingly useful in the short-term) cannibalize important things (critical for long-term success).

Cynefin Framework

The Cynefin Framework gives context to decision-making and problem-solving by providing context and guiding an appropriate response. The five domains of the Cynefin Framework comprise obvious, complicated, complex, chaotic domains, and disorder if a domain has not been determined.

Read Next: Mental ModelsBiasesBounded RationalityMandela EffectDunning-Kruger EffectLindy EffectCrowding Out EffectBandwagon EffectDecision-Making Matrix.

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