Are You a Problem Solver?
Assess your skills by taking our quiz.
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Running a business requires almost constant problem solving. When things are going smoothly, you may not even realize you’re doing it. But when things get complicated, that’s when you want to put your best skills to work. And it may take more time and more analysis than you’d like.
“Today, everybody wants to make things simple,” says Gayle Abbott, president of Strategic Alignment Partners, a consulting firm in the Washington, D.C, area. “But I’m not sure that works in reality.”
If you take care with your decisions, though, you’ll do well for your company and your employees in the long run, keeping things running smoothly and moving in a positive direction. Wondering how you fare as a problem solver? Take our quiz.
1. How do you define your company’s mission?
A. To make a certain amount of profit this year.
B. To grow a certain percentage this year.
C. To introduce a new product or service this year.
2. When defining your business’s mission, it is important to be as simple and limited as possible.That way, there’s no question where you’re headed.
3. How do you define your market?
A. By geographical area.
B. By demographic group.
4. Creating the best quality product is always the way to go.
5. If the company knows it will have some serious competition in the nest few years, it should:
A. Go all out and launch new products, even if they cannibalize our current ones.
B. Rein in research and development and stick with what’s working.
6. The best way to get the team thinking about new approaches is:
A. Have each section (marketing, research and development, etc.) come up with the initiatives they see as important to the company.
B. Develop initiatives in the C-suite based on company mission, not from workers on the ground.
7. I know I’ve made a good decision for my business when:
A. I risked everything and we hit it big.
B. The decision was in line with the company’s mission but went badly in the end.
8. Once I have looked at all the data logically, and compared it against my company’s strategy, I can make the best decision.
9. The best way to make a final decision that benefits the organization is:
A. Have the person at the top decide.
B. Get consensus from everyone in the organization.
C. Have a few key people decide.
D. Have a few key people weigh in, with one ultimate decision maker.
10. The best way to get feedback from the group is:
A. Brainstorm and let everyone weigh in freely. The best ideas will rise to the surface in the meeting.
B. Write everything down on whiteboards or flipcharts, then carefully evaluate ideas.