Scenario: Problem or Puzzle

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

The problem presented is – I need to upgrade the operating system on my computers

Tags: Action Learning Coach

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Comments (10)

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    Dee Handyside

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    Firstly, on my Pre-session discussion with the problem presenter, I would ascertain why this is a ‘problem’. It may be a problem about the type of operating system and he/she doesn’t know which one to choose OR it may be a problem working out how to implement the changeover. Once established, I would establish which participants would be most suitable . If the software and implementation has already been worked out then ask why this is a problem – and advise for or against an action learning session.

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    Camkenzie

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    I would explain that because this is a process that is known, it is not a problem and therefore is not a suitable scenario for action learning

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    Hemant Sagar

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    As an Action earning Coach I would have a preliminary talk with the problem presenter and ask what the reason for the upgrade is and what the problem presenter wishes to achieve by doing so. It is the resulting situation the computer upgrade shall achieve that the problem presenter is most probably looking at, the upgrade itself is a technical problem that is a convergent question not open enough to be the problem of an Action Learning session.

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    Narendra

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    To my my mind the problem presented here is a Puzzle and not a Problem. The solution is known here. However, in a Problem, solution is not known……….we use Action Learning process to help problem presenter discover it.

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    Fred N

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    I agree with the prior post…it sounds like a puzzle that a consultant or two could solve. However, if we were all assembled at the table already, I’d still proceed with the AL process and let the group ask questions to clarify the problem. Saying ‘I need to upgrade the operating system’ isn’t a problem, but a goal. What leads the person to say the operating system needs to be upgraded? The problem still needs to be articulated.

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    Marcos Ton

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    As oriented at CALC Brasil course, Action Learning process must be apply to problem solving and not to solve puzzle, because in this case exist one solution that is clearly and already known. It is a specific care that each AL Coach must be when asking to help any situation at any company.

    Marcos Ton, CALC Brasil

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      Eduardo S. Rodela

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      According to Michael J. Marquardt,in Optimizing the Power of Action Learning, Second Edition, pages 29 and 32, problems are not puzzles. There should not be a logical solution to the issue. This principle should be be brought up during initial meetings with organizational management. This will prevent any surprise at the begiining of the Action Learning sessions.

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    Cleo Wolff

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    As a coach I should accept the problem presented by the PP and ask: Who has the fist question? If the discussion turns to technical solutions I would intervene and do the standard intervention. I also would ask: What is the quality of our questions to understand the real problem he/she has? Why is it importante to understand the real problem? What we can do as a team to help him/her to understand the real problem she/he has? Who has the next question?

    If they still would keep with technical solutions, I would intervene and ask question to handle difficult situations: What is the impact when we work with a technical point of view for the problem? Why is it importante to work with solutioness problems in Action Learning sessions? What can we do to get the best for us in being together? Who has the next question?

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    DrBea

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    Great responses.

    This sort of situation tends to happen when we are doing a demonstration and ask for a volunteer with a problem.

    Even though this sounds like a puzzle – I would let the process go on for awhile. Assuming it still felt like a puzzle at the checkin I would simply ask – Is this a problem or a puzzle?

    Happy Coaching
    Bea

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    LUOKAIWEI

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    I think this question is a puzzle and not a problem and this type of question need not use AL to handle. At best it can be handeled by a computer expert!

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