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The Psychology of Problem-Solving
Adams, Gabrielle; Yemen, Gerry Technical Note OB-1442 / Published July 31, 2023 / 8 pages.
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Product Overview

This technical note introduces the concept of applying subtractive thinking to problem-solving. The essential work of almost any employee in an organization is to solve problems and make something better. And more often than not, the tendency is to add to what currently exists, not take something away. This note shares obstacles to the use of subtractive ideas for transformations and changes, as well as the advantages of removing complexity. It offers an overview of the problem-solving process, from mental representation of the initial situation, through brainstorming possible transformations, to conceiving of various goals.




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  • Overview

    This technical note introduces the concept of applying subtractive thinking to problem-solving. The essential work of almost any employee in an organization is to solve problems and make something better. And more often than not, the tendency is to add to what currently exists, not take something away. This note shares obstacles to the use of subtractive ideas for transformations and changes, as well as the advantages of removing complexity. It offers an overview of the problem-solving process, from mental representation of the initial situation, through brainstorming possible transformations, to conceiving of various goals.

  • Learning Objectives