Peter Drucker

Most organizations staff their problems and starve their opportunities. When people begin to start talking about problems, I say, ‘No, wait a minute. Let’s first look at the opportunities.’

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Everybody knows that you need more prevention than treatment, but few reward acts of prevention. We glorify those who left their names in history books at the expense of those contributors about whom our books are silent. We humans are not just a superficial race (this may be curable to some extent); we are a very unfair one.

Clayton Christensen

The way we’ve taught managers to make decisions and consultants to analyze problems condemns them to taking action when it’s too late. The only way you can look into the future is with theory. And that’s a big leap for managers to take.

The key to good theory is good categorization–understanding the circumstances you’re in, and the circumstances you’re not in.

William Dunk

Theory of Embedded Wrongs: If a problem has been around a long, long while, and there’s a dominant prevailing notion as to what will cure it, the answer is almost inevitably wrong.

John McCallum

Much of the information needed to diagnose the cause of a problem invariably comes from the people associated with the problem. To get the needed information requires asking the right questions of the right people and then having the discipline to be quiet and listen closely. Determining the right questions to ask too often gets short shrift, with predictable consequences for results.

Charles Kettering

A problem well stated is a problem half solved.

Charles Kettering

The research state of mind can apply to anything; personal affairs or any kind of business, big or little. It is the problem solving mind as contrasted with the let-well-enough-alone mind. It is the composer mind instead of the fiddler mind. It is the ‘tomorrow’ mind instead of the ‘yesterday’ mind.

Charles Kettering

The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress. A research problem is not solved by apparatus; it is solved in a man’s head. It is not what we know that is important, it is what we do not know.

Edward C. Bursk

There is no surer way of putting problems across than to present them in a form as close as possible to that in which they actually occur, and the greater vividness and realism thereby secured will stimulate the ensuing thinking and discussion.

Andy Grove

At Intel, we see five stages for dealing with a new problem: First, you ignore its existence; second is denial; third, you blame others for it; fourth, you assume responsibility for it; and fifth-a solution is coming.

Jim Stovall

What do Benjamin Franklin, Adolf Hitler, Winston Churchill, Thomas Edison, William Shakespeare, Osama bin Laden, and every other historical or famous person you have ever heard of have in common? Every famous or infamous person that has come to historical prominence is known for either solving or creating problems.

Remember, your friends, your family, and history itself will not remember you for the problems … [ Read more ]

Albert Einstein

The significant problems we face today cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.

R.T. Pascale, Managing on the Edge

When we transcend a paradox there is often a quality of obviousness that produces a shock of recognition. No longer held captive by the old way of thinking, we are liberated to see things we have known all along, but couldn’t assemble into a useful model for action.

Albert Einstein

Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.

S. Fleming (???)

To any business problem, there is an answer that is simple, straightforward, and wrong.

Henry Ford

Don’t find a fault. Find a remedy.

Lyndon B. Johnson

There are no problems we cannot solve together, and very few we can solve by ourselves.