Despite our work related titles, Retractors and Rotarians have one title in common “Problem Solver” why? Right from the time we wake up, we are all engrossed in finding solutions to trouble shoot challenges that may range from making up responding to emails, family matters, relationship, puzzles name it.

Our ability to effectively solve problems therefore determines our success. However, our success at solving problems is dependent on our thoughts account for most of what we say or do. Therefore we need to improve our quality of thinking if we are to effectively solve problems. Rotaract clubs can stimulate new ideas using three major ways.

I.  Having intensely desired goals. At least at most club fellowships, the goals of Rotaract are always recited hence a plus for Rotaractors. However, the challenge for members is to think, talk and reflect on the goals and establishment whether the club is on the right track to achieving those goals.
II.  Before having pressing problems we need to establish and examine what problems/challenges the club wants to solve. Is it membership recruitment, retention and development, time keeping or project attendance? As we think about these challenges, we need to document ways to solve them. The more the options the higher the chances of opting for the best approach.
III.  Asking focused questions that provoke thought and insight. The power of questions is the master key to generating new ideas. Questions, why certain things are done the way they are, creates an opportunity to think of alternative ways, players and tactics.

SYSTEMATIC METHOD TO EFFECTIVE PROBLEM SOLVING

Everyone has an approach to solving problems and what matters is whether the method is systematic or not.

In systematic problem solving, it is important to

a. Define the problem clearly in writing
b. Ask what else the problem is
c. Reinstate the problem
d. Determine all possible causes of the problem
e. Determine all possible solutions for the problems
f. Make a decision
g. Assign a responsibility
h. Set deadline(s)
i. Take action, get busy and active
j. Check and review strategy

For clubs to solve problems effectively there is need for mind storming by members defining goals as questions. In addition club members need to brain storm in other clubs and should involve members in finding solutions to problems & club challenges. This can best be done by defining the problem clearly and accepting all contributions without being judgmental or braised.

Engaging in zero-based thinking clubs and members can effectively solve problems by freeing their minds from any limitations that they may unconsciously put on ideas. This can best be done by creatively abandoning all the unproductive old approaches to doing things and testing assumptions. Club members especially executives should be willing to admit that they could be wrong and that there could be someone with better ideas. In other words be willing to change and accept ideas instead of struggling to defend four ideas. Lastly club members need to be aware of the limiting factors between rotaract and its goals. What limits the speed at which the club achieves its goals?

In conclusion, for effective problem solving, clubs and members should concentrate on single problem/goal (single handling), have mental flexibility, be open to new ideas, have a systematic method of solving problems and should always listen to their intuition/gut feelings (smart inner voice).

Adopted by Nasinyama Patrick from article by Njoki Chege @ http://www.africareview.com/Special Reports/Kenya super-rich/-/979182/2478982/-/jlapty/-/index.html

About Franny Kaganzi

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