In talking with Ron Klein in our weekly BlogTalk Refractive Thinker Radio Show (Tuesdays at 9 am MST) , we had an interesting discussion regarding reducing a problem into the most simple elements. When one can reduce a problem into the most basic pieces, research becomes a tool for problem solving. What is the problem? Why is it a problem? What are the elements of the problem? AND most importantly, what can be done for resolution? [Remember resolution includes the word solution!]
Mastery of problem solving is really a function of critical and refractive thinking. Crisis often propels us forward more quickly as well. Think of what happens when you have a problem and the stores are closed. What potential solutions can you come up with when you are in a jam? What happens when the car breaks, such as a belt raveling. Many might wait for a tow truck, while the refractive thinker perhaps may think just a bit more creatively. Perhaps you might use your own belt or other alternatives that might just work temporarily just as well, if not better
So what is it about a crisis that gets our motor running? Think of how much better some people think under pressure–when there is no alternative but to find a way? When you absolutely positively have to have a solution, how do you use research as a problem solving tool? For example, instead of reinventing the wheel, simply Google it! Find out what others have done that just might give you some ideas. Think of new ways to solve a problem. Necessity is often the mother of invention!
This week, let’s put our heads together regarding how we research resolutions to problems, using critical and refractive thinking as tools to further our efforts. Instead of asking why? Perhaps ask what if? or why not? instead. *Grins*
Until next week,
Dr. Cheryl Lentz
The Academic Entrepreneur™