Spokane Medical Research

Solving Problems by Asking Why

Filed under: Health — Tags: , , — Rudolph @

How firmly attached are you to certain beliefs? How set are you on the “right way” to run a health club, recruit new members or train your staff? Your mindset is very powerful and can often prevent creativity and flexibility in thinking and solving problems.

First ask why

To get to the root of a problem, it can be helpful to ask, “Why?” This question is important for discovering what a problem is about and how to solve it.

For example, say a manager wants to bring in more club members. Instead of immediately working on marketing strategies to recruit new members, the manager should ask, “Why does the club need more members?” The answer is that the club needs more revenue. Again ask “why?” This time, the answer is that there has been an increased number of member cancellations. Again, ask “why?” This time, no answer is forthcoming. Why members are cancelling their memberships is the underlying issue that needs to be analyzed. Without the process of using the “why” question, resources would have been wasted on recruiting new members and the real problem, member retention, would not have been solved.

A new approach for problem solving

After determining the true problem through the “why” technique, an alternative method of brainstorming, which entails solving a fictitious problem, can be applied.

Step 1: Define the essence of the problem. Using the previous example, the problem was not how to get new members, but rather how to retain members. With this method of problem solving, the real problem first needs to be discovered, defined and put into an open-ended question. For example, How can we retain our members? or Why are our members cancelling?

Step 2: Create a similar problem. After formulating an open-ended question about the true problem, a fictitious problem that has no direct relationship to the real problem, but has underlying similarities, needs to be created. For example, How do you get a fish to run a marathon? It may seem completely ridiculous, but that is precisely the point. The more removed from the real problem you are, the easier it will be to generate ideas that lack the influence of your predetermined mindset.

Step 3: Analyze the similar problem. Begin problem solving by listing all of the possible causes of the problem. In the example, list the reasons why fish have not run a marathon. The more obscure the answers are, the more free your mind will become. Some answers to the example might be that fish don’t have running shoes, they would run out of breath or they don’t know how to train. The more humor involved, the better.

Step 4: Find solutions to the similar problem. Try to find solutions for your listed reasons. Some solutions to the similar problem might be to hook up mini-oxygen tanks to the fish gills, put a bubble of water around the fish with just their fins sticking out or to add a “slip-n-slide” to the course.

Step 5: Trigger ideas for the real problem. Now, apply the fictitious solutions to the real problem of improving member retention. One solution implies changing the environment by adding a “slip-n-slide.” This could suggest that the layout of the club needs to be changed or new user-friendly equipment needs to be added. Another solution focuses on altering the fish by hooking up an oxygen tank.

This could be translated into members needing to be better adapted to the club, maybe through education and orientations so that members could reap the benefits of the club’s services.

Step 6: Test the new ideas. Finally, it is time to test your new ideas. At this point, get rid of any ideas that will clearly not work, but keep any that might be useful in the future. The value of this approach is to generate new, unique ideas.

The Inner World of Human Beings

Filed under: Art — Tags: , , — Rudolph @

Expressionism seeks to portray feelings and emotions — in short, the inner world of human beings, which is necessarily personal, subjective, and intense. Expressionism as an artistic style appears in all the major art forms: music: literature, painting, sculpture, theater, dance, and photography. However, this idea is particularly apparent in painting. (more…)

Benefits of Using the Tackling Tobacco Chat Room

Filed under: Health — Tags: , , — Rudolph @

Some reasons why you want to use the Tackling Tobacco chat room while you are trying to quit or reduce your tobacco use:
You want to reduce the amount of tobacco you use.
You want to quit using tobacco.
You want to improve your health.
You want to save money. (more…)

NSAIDS and Hypertension

Filed under: Health — Tags: , , — Rudolph @

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen have revolutionized the variety and availability of painkillers for millions of Americans. We take them to ease our back pain, stop our headaches, and minimize menstrual cramps. Overall, when used in moderation, they are considered very safe and are widely sold over the counter. (more…)

Supplements With T4 and T3

Filed under: medicine — Tags: , , — Rudolph @

Normally, the thyroid gland makes and releases mostly T4 into the blood stream. The thyroid also makes small amounts of the very potent T3 hormone. However, most of the T3 found in the blood and organs is made outside of the thyroid gland, in tissues. The tissues do this by changing the T4 into T3. Because the tissues can change T4 into the T3 as needed, most hypothyroid individuals do extremely well only receiving a T4 supplement. (more…)

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