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Published on February 17th, 2014 | by editor


Helpful Tool for Strategy and Problem-Solving

How do organizations improve? Effective problem solving is a key strategy. When a group collectively identifies a problem, works through its causes and effects, and brainstorms possible solutions, good things result. Group dynamics improve, the shared knowledge base increases, and more often than not, smart ways of moving forward are identified. It also can be a surprisingly enjoyable way to rethink processes and outcomes.

Wright College’s executive council recently engaged in such an exercise with the help of Nancy Chavez and Rasmus Lynnerup from the Reinvention team. We used a very helpful tool – a problem and solution tree – to look at retention.

There is no one best way to improve student retention. Strategies vary by student, mission, resources, organization, and so many other factors that it can be overwhelming. All colleges, though, want to retain more students. The problem and solution tree gave us an opportunity to explore possible tactics. It generated good thinking and conversation, as well as some new ideas to explore.

I am looking for future opportunities to use the tool. Consider downloading the Problem Tree Template for group activity and seeing if it works for you, too.

David Potash


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