Onyinye Anyakee Written by Onyinye Anyakee · 2 min read >

I think i have discovered my favorite course for the semester – Analysis of Business Problems. I am just amazed at the way we analyze cases in class. It makes me believe that the more you think you know the more you realize that you don’t know.

After every class, I gain a deeper insight into why managerial positions are sensitive and companies management do not just dish them out to staff based on how long they have worked in the company. A company can value and appreciate you for your hard work and loyalty over the years, some will even raise your pay significantly but would not put you in that position to make important decisions and analysis.

I am so grateful everyday for the opportunity to study at LBS for the MBA degree. You might ask why I am in my feelings tonight, lol. We analyzed the case of the burred panels in class this evening and I definitely did not see that end coming. The fact that the plant manager assumed quite confidently, I must say that he could solve the problem by either supporting Farrell and risk a strike or undercut Farrell, reinstate Valenti and ask the men for their cooperation is interesting.

I like how the faculty explained that it was easy to hear the loudest voice, see what is glaring and flow with it because our brains might not want to put in the work and would rather settle for an easy option. She also asked, “why do we as humans look for the intangibles when the tangibles are in front of us?”

Another answer I will not forget in a hurry is the one she responded to a question asking, why the solution to the case was only mentioned sparsely in the case. “You have to learn to block the noise, this case can be applied to real life scenarios. Does having the loudest voice in an argument imply that you have won the case,” was her response.

As future and acting managers, it is paramount we understand the benefits of framing a problem correctly. How can you solve what you don’t understand? It is simply impossible. A common mistake we can make is looking for evidence that confirms our problem frame instead of looking for facts that will discredit it. This is a bias to proper problem framing.

Another mistake in problem formulation is the inability to identify a clear gap from what the current situation is to the desired destination you hope to achieve. This can be seen in this problem frame that says, we need to increase the company’s revenue. This prevents people from engaging in clear mental contrasting and creates further problems. People are not sure when the solution to the problem has been achieved in the future. Also, the solution to poorly formulated problems are not targeted thereby producing poor results.

In class, the importance of focusing on the facts and kicking off assumptions is always emphasized. If we truly depend on assumptions to solve a case we would have 28 assumptions. One for each member of my MMBA3 class.

Learn to distinguish the cause from the symptoms. Symptoms are only indicative of an underlying cause, therefore symptomatic treatments leads to unsuccessful intervention and a waste in resources.

On a final note, the goal of problem framing and diagnosis is to connect a symptom with an underlying cause and to achieve this an increased sensitivity to facts in the data is paramount.



OMB in General
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