The Kolb Model• David A. Kolb developed a model of problem-solving that is a dialectical process.• It’s designed to avoid making the mistake offailing to see potential opportunities inproblems• this failure happens when the problem is notcompletely analyzed at every step of a process• It is based upon his theory of experientiallearning and consists of four analytical stages
4 Stages• First Stage – Situation Analysis– Corresponds to concrete experience– it asked the question:• what’s the most important problem• in other words, do I really understand what the issuesare?
• Second Stage: Problem Analysis– This is about reflective observation– it asked the question -- what are the causes ofthe problem?– and deals with:• information gathering• problem definition– is that place where everyone needs to be on thesame page and yet has freedom to explore what isreally going on
• Stage Three – Solution Analysis– This is the place to abstract conceptualization– the question is asked: what’s the best solution?– it is about –• idea getting• and decision-making
• Fourth Stage – Implementation Analysis– At this stage there is active experimentation– the question is asked: how do we implement thesolution• will this be easy to implement or difficult• is there a low payoff or a big payoff• can we anticipate the consequences• have we identified key individuals who have expertise• if key individuals are not involved in the problem-solving do they have different solutions
Reality• Experienced managers tend to follow a similarsequence• what sets this model apart is the call to attemptto completely analyze each step– significant energy is devoted to each stage– time and energy avoid the problem of solving thewrong problem– effort can avoid the treatment of symptoms ratherthan cause– complete analysis can avoid firefighting following asolution