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Welcome

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. Yet most of us haven’t formally trained to solve these.

I research transferrable 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 in 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 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.

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

Strategic Thinking in Complex Problem Solving