10 principles of problem solving and decision making strategies for administrators


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Simple ten principles series of tkjain on how to achieve best environment for problem solving and decision making in an organisation. It is especially useful for administrators and public servants of government and semi-government organisations and NGOs. It is also useful for MBA, CA, CS, ICWA, FRM, BBA, MCOM, PHD AND BCOM students.

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10 principles of problem solving and decision making strategies for administrators

  1. 1. TKJAIN’S 10 SIMPLE PRINCIPLES Problem Solving and Decision Making Techniques RIPA’s Training Programme For Administrators Professor Trilok Kumar Jain 12/10/2013 The ideas, views, thoughts and opinions expressed in this e-book are the personal views of the author. The author is only responsible for any mistakes, errors and lapses with regard to facts and information in this booklet. The purpose of this study material to help a proper discussion.
  2. 2. Approaches to Problem Solving & Decision Making Strategies by : Trilok Kumar Jain Dean, ISBM, Suresh Gyan Vihar University, Jaipur, India jain.tk@gmail.com residence : Parakh Niwas, Sivakamu Veterinary Hospital Road, Gogagate Circle, Bandrabas, Bikaner Mobile : 9414430763 Story of the wood chopper : Once there was a wood chopper, he was so busy trying to chop down trees with his very blunt axe, that he complained he could never manage the time to sharpen his axe. Thus he was taking a long time to cut the wood. Someone suggested him to sharpen the axe. This increased his effectively trmendously and while he was taking a long time earlier, now it was taking a few minutes. One generation plants the trees, and another gets the shade Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever "Tell me, I'll forget. Show me, I'll remember. Involve me, I'll understand" “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.” - Henry Ford Tkjain’s Problem Solving and Decision Making Techniques for Administrators Page 2
  3. 3. Every problem is an opportunity. It gives you the chance to prove that you are an administrators. Great administrators are known by their decisions. The greater your decision making skills, the great prestige and value you will have. Administrators have to invest their time and energies in decision making. The capability to take the best possible decision in the given situation will ensure that you are able to perform your role and your appointment to the post is justified. You can see that great administrators have transformed their organisation after every problem. One executive transformed training academy, when it was devastated by floods. About Tkjain’s 10 Principle Series As an author of management, I have identified 10 essential principles in each functional aspect and have written e-books on those fundamental 10 principles – which are simple, easy to remember, easy to understand and can reflect the most important aspects. These e-books are freely available on internet. Some of these are as under: Entrepreneurs’ guide to Managing Human Resource Entrepreneurs’ Guide to managing Marketing for Tomorrow Entrepreneurs’ Guide to Managing Finance Entrepreneurs’ Guide to Managing Business Negotiations The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Digital Marketing and Webpreneurship Decision making depends on following factors : a. your understanding of the vision, mission, strategies, values and goals of the organisation b. your ability to collect facts, information, data, ideas, opinions and resources c. your ability to create a participative decision making climate, which enable the Tkjain’s Problem Solving and Decision Making Techniques for Administrators Page 3
  4. 4. organiational participants to own the decision d. your ability to generate the required clarity, motivation, understanding, and zeal for the implementation of the decision e. your ability to break communication barriers and establish an environment of trust, mutual support, coordination and collaboration, openness and transparency, public accountability and commitment. 10 Fundamentals of decision making : a. convert the problem (challenge) into an opportunity b. identify, evaluate and discuss alternatives c. dig the facts beyond the surface and collect information beyond the information available to everyone d. visualise solution, simulate it, anticipate the problems in implementation e. discuss, share and sell your decision so that you are able to convince everyone about your decision f. be flexible, be prepared to adapt as per situation g. work as per guidelines of the higher authorities / take higher authorities in confidence h. acquire training, change mental horizon for enhancing your vision i. empathise - develop understanding of others' perspectives and their problems j. give credit to your team, own the mistakes and failures 10 Types of problems and their administrative management 1. Role Conflict Tkjain’s Problem Solving and Decision Making Techniques for Administrators Page 4
  5. 5. 2. Resource Constraints 3. Emotional Outbursts, Prejudices etc. 4. Lack of Work Culture 5. Lack of Initiative 6. Administrative Poicies and Bureaucratic Structure 7. Resistance to Change 8. Conflicts 9. Lack of information and necessary guidelines 10.Lack of coordination and control These points are discussed below : Role Conflict : You are asked to work on projects, where you are not clear about your authority or you dont have required authority or you are working on a project on which some other is also working and noone is sure about clarity of roles or you have some project which is beyond your competency. suggestions: As an administrator, organise role clarity sessions, coordination sessions and become a great organiser. Organise role discussions, role clarity sessions, have clarity regarding what others expect from you and how they wish you to work. Two persons started working to promote family planning. One went from home to home requesting for familly planning - but failed. The other went to villagers to solve their problems and establish friendship with them without talking about family planning and ultimately achieved his goals. A clarity of role and clarity of goal helped the person. Resource Constraints / organisational constraint / discriminatory system: There are some resources, which are always in short supply. Some of these are : a. time b. money c. manpower d. authority e. office equipments and tools f. wrong Tkjain’s Problem Solving and Decision Making Techniques for Administrators Page 5
  6. 6. policies and practices. You will always find that you have to work with less resources. You will always find some limitations in the systems and procedures. Treat these as opportunities. suggestions: Prepare a strategy to demand for resources, project your resource requirements clearly and properly and tell clearly what is the work to be done to the higher authorities so that you may get the required resources. Clearly specify the constraints under which you are working. Yet, prepare yourself to work under less resources. Innovate, stretch and extend the existing resources and ensure that you are able to outperform with less resources. Because Nick Vujicic didnt have hands and legs, he emerged as the best motivator and inspirational leader for masses. Because Jagdish Bhai Patel was a blind, he set up Blind Mens' Association (now Blind People's Association) and transformed lives of blind people all over the country. Because Gandhi ji was denied 1st class travel in South Africa, he changed his path from being an advocate to being a human right champion and ultimately as a freedom fighter. Emotional Outburst, Prejudices etc : handing emotional issues is a difficult task. Organisations are not just bundle of people. To develop great teams, you have to have a motivated teams and therefore handling emotional issues with care is very important. suggestions: Prepare your strategy to handle emotional issues. Stick to your goal and achieve it. Kabir Khan in Chak De film faces prejudice of people, but proves himself by performance and ensures that with his dedicated performance, he is able to bring victory for India. Lack of Work Culture : there are some organisations, where people dont wish to work. You may try hard, yet, you will notice that they are there just to kill time. They fail to realise the immense joy of doing honest and committed work. They Tkjain’s Problem Solving and Decision Making Techniques for Administrators Page 6
  7. 7. fail to enjoy the satisfaction of achievements. They lack achievement motivation and any willingness to perform. Dr. Mahendra Khadgawat, the Director of Rajasthan Archieves completed digitalised over 35 lakh documents including over 1000 years old documents relating to princely states and old documents relating to land records in a very short span of time inspite of resistence, and hurdles that he faced in the process. While there was no work culture earlier, Dr. Khadgawat hired some people on contract basis for the project. Soon the existing employees also started working and the organisation was completely transformed. For details, please read the case study on Dr. Mahendra Khadgawat by clicking here. In the film Lagaan, we find that when there is a super-ordinate goal, a very important cause, everyone joins and supports the cause. Those who were considered insignificant, small and otherwise incapable, became instrumental in achieving success. Once there is a great work culture, everyone becomes the winner. We can learn from the leadership style of Bhuvan in Lagaan. Lack of Initiative : Organisations can grow only if employees are proactive and take initiatives to solve problems, however, most employees dont do it. You have to create a culture for initiative and innovations and ensure that those who fail to take required initiatives are given proper orientation / training / motivation for this. Administrative Poicies and Bureaucratic Structure : most organisations create policies for the development of organisations, however, these same policies later become hurdles as these policies become bureaucratic. Policies, procedures, practices and structure give stability, order, discipline to the organisations. But over a period of time, these can convert organisation into a bureaucratic organisation and it may completely mar the performance of the organisation. Resistance to Change : People resist change. Technological issues, chaning cirmustances, changing habits, changing life style, changing political philosophy, increasing competition and other factors force organisations to change and adapt Tkjain’s Problem Solving and Decision Making Techniques for Administrators Page 7
  8. 8. to the situations. However, employees do resist to changes due to many reasons like their own working habits, their vested interests, their own unrational projections of future, fear and peer pressure. There is a need of managing change properly. The administrators must learn the art of strengtheneing the forces in favour of change and minimise the forces against change. The executives must try to create an environment in favour of change management. Conflicts : conflicts are natural to the organisations, however, there are always situations when these conflicts become too difficult to handle. These issues must be handled carefully and try to ensure that there are mechanisms to manage conflicts. Lack of information and necessary guidelines : there may be situations when you have to take a decision, for which you dont have any helping information / guidelines / procedure / instructions. You may find yourself perplexed. It is necessary to seek guidelines of higher authorities in such situations. However, when there is an emergency, you cant postpone. You have to take a decision. The decision must reflect your capability. The quality of decision must prove that you understand the vision, mission, strategies, values, and goals of the organisation and all your decisions are in line with these. Lack of coordination and control : you can control yourself, but cant control others. You have to careate controls for others (controls = standards, guidelines, set of expectations etc.). Create controls and parameters that can ensure that you are able to handle potential problems. 10 Problem Solving and Decision Making Techniques 1. Learn and practice Japanese Management including JIT (just in time inventory management), TQM (total quality management) , Kanban, TPM, Kaizen (small improvement), Ringiseido (proposal approved by higher authorities discussed for implementation), Genchi Genbutsu (dirty your hand in factory to understand it), quality forum / quality circle (voluntary group to monitory quality and improve it) Tkjain’s Problem Solving and Decision Making Techniques for Administrators Page 8
  9. 9. 2. Learn and Practice Chinese Management systems including SUE (Chinese organisation system to equate to family management system) and Guanxi (informal relation management) 3. Learn from Indian leaders: - Learn and practice Birla's Management style of devotion to the God, a holy work place, and creating residential facilities before factories. Learn and practice Bajaj's management style of contributing for the cause of the nation, promoting and advocating national values. Learn and practice Tata's management style of employee welfare and employee involvement. 4. OCTAPACE (create a work culture based on the values of : - openness, collaboration, trust, autonomy, proaction, authenticity, creativity, experimentation) 5. Create SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound) Goals 6. learn from the Indian family management system (joint food taking, joint responsibilites, joint discussions and respect to elders) Read case studies on Family Business Management. For your reference one such case study is as follows : - Family Business Management Case Study 7. learn from anecdotes, culture, and rituals (Learn from Ganesha : - keep a head like an elephant - large enough to accomodate ideas, think deep and meditate, keep a long nose to collect every information from ground, keep a large stomoch to digest every information, insult and even humiliation etc) 8. learn positive techniques from nature, animals and surroundings (eagle focus on goals, geese & Honey bee - amazing team work etc.) 9. MBO(management by objectives), MBWA (management by wandering about), Balanced Scorecard (financial perspective, customer perspective, learning and growth perspective and business process perspective), 360 Tkjain’s Problem Solving and Decision Making Techniques for Administrators Page 9
  10. 10. appraisal system (involve colleagues, subordinates and stakeholders in appraisal system besides the superiors) 10.Learn positive techniques from Meister system of Germany, Gurukul, Marja and Munim systems of India and , Tkjain’s Problem Solving and Decision Making Techniques for Administrators Page 10