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My book, Strategic Thinking in Complex Problem Solving, is available.

Strategic Thinking in Complex Problem Solving

Available at:

 

Should I buy that house? Why isn’t our marketing strategy more successful? How can I finish my dissertation on time?

We all face complex problems, and yet most of us haven’t formally trained to solve these.

I research the tools and skills that, in addition to specialized training, can help people become better problem solvers; that is, I look at the strategic side of problem solving.

Strategic thinking for complex problem solving is a four-step process

Strategic thinking for complex problem solving is a four-step process

Strategic thinking in complex problem solving

If you look at the skill set that employers seek in new hires, many take expertise in a knowledge area as a given. What differentiates candidates is their additional competencies: a report by the Council of Graduate Schools summarizes the skills that employers look for: problem solving; work ethic; oral, written and visual communication; social responsibility; and management skills.

So, if you’re a student, the take away is that you should actively look for ways to develop a skill set matching what employers look and become T-shaped. That is, if you are concentrating exclusively on your classes and your research project, you are taking a big risk.

Effective problem solvers are T-shaped, having both depth and breadth of knowledge

Effective problem solvers are T-shaped, having both depth and breadth of knowledge.

 

Acquiring strategic thinking skills is challenging. If you are a Rice student, you can take my course on strategic thinking and/or take advantage of a number of resources can help you.

About

My name is Arnaud Chevallier, I’m an associate vice provost at Rice, where I work on academic affairs and strategic partnerships. I also study strategic thinking applied to complex problem solving, and I teach in the George R. Brown School of Engineering and the Center for Civic Leadership.