Creative Problem Solving: Tackling Challenges from Different Angles

At this event with our partner Locatee, we looked at challenges from different angles. We learned different strategies for approaching technical and business-oriented challenges and heard from our panelists how they apply methodologies at work and for personal difficulties in life. Read on to learn more about the insights from this event. 

Workshop 1 – Business-oriented Challenges

In this workshop stream, experts Karolina Gumkowska and Andreea Cotabitiu provided insights on different methodologies used to tackle challenges in the business world. Before addressing difficulties, challenge your mindset! Finding answers to the problem, such as What is missing? Why is it not working? Who is guilty?, stops you from moving forward. Instead, try to focus on questions such as:

➡️ What is our goal?

➡️ How far have we progressed already?

➡️ Who can support us?

➡️ What do we need to focus on?

Design Thinking can be a powerful strategy by prioritizing the customer’s needs and building a solution that will bring the most value. Design Thinking relies on observing, empathy, and how people interact with their environment. It’s a human-centric approach, which means that it uses evidence of how consumers (humans) actually engage with a product or service, rather than how someone else or an organization thinks they will engage with it.

Sometimes the easiest way to solve a problem is to stop participating in the problem.

– Albert Einstein

Workshop 2 – Technical challenges

The second workshop was all about addressing technical challenges and bug fixing. In this workshop, the experts Ekaterina Goranova, Katy Bak, and Beata Jaroszewska walked our attendees through a technical challenge while sharing their tips and techniques. Whether you’re new to bug fixing or not, these steps will help you succeed in finding the root cause and solving the bug:

  1. Gather all the context
  2. Reproduce the bug
  3. Come up with initial assumptions
  4. Find the root cause
  5. Take a break

And they also shared some insights on how to avoid bugs in the first place: Clean Code! 

  • Follow standard conventions: Don’t invent crazy variables. Follow the standard.
  • Keep it simple, stupid: The simpler, the better.
  • Girl scout rule: Always leave the campsite (code) better than you’ve found it.
  • Try to explain yourself in code: Your code should be readable almost like a book. The better your code, the fewer comments are needed.

Always leave the code better than you’ve found it.

– Girl scout rule

Panel Discussion

After learning so many tips and techniques regarding problem-solving, it was time to hear from our panelist’s personal experiences.

In this discussion, we’ve touched on their personal best-practices and strategies on how they approach problems in the work environment as well as in their personal life. We’ve also heard about their lightbulb moments that made them review problems differently and got to hear actionable advice on how to take on any challenge in the future.

Here are our favorite key takeaways:

Don’t be the one to limit yourself.

Ekaterina Goranova

As a manager, the biggest lesson I learned was not to provide your team with all the answers. Equip them with tools to help them get there!

Andreea Diana Cotabitiu

Break the problem down and always ask yourself – ‘what do you want to achieve’

Karolina Gumkowska

Refine how you ask questions. Asking better questions can lead to better answers

Katy Bak

As this event was held in person, we all got to connect with each other over pizza & wine after the event.

Thank you to all the panelists and workshop leaders for sharing their knowledge and personal experiences. It was such an insightful and interactive event. A big thanks to Locatee for hosting this event and being a great partner! 💙 And of course thank you to all participants for joining and making this event so memorable.

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Author: Corinne Ruckstuhl

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