THE ABILITY TO FIND AND SOLVE PROBLEMS
Every problem displays a symptom before it rises to the surface. The ability to recognize symptoms when they appear depends on skills of observation and foresight to acknowledge how the situation might develop.
Foresight is often considered a fifth sense in much the same way as intuition or a spark of genius is perceived. To compare the present situation with similar events in the past and foresee through this previous experience how the situation might develop in the future, however, is an ability that can be learnt, for example, by studying history.
2 Information Collection and Analysis
Today is often referred to as the information age where data itself, has become an increasingly valuable commodity. To recognize and solve a problem in this era, it is essential to collect and analyze the most appropriate data available.
In collecting this data, it is essential to pay attention not only to the information directly related to the job at hand, but also to new trends in society and the world in general. The underlying cause of the problem may often be found in events far removed from the situation itself, or information with no apparent relation to the issue of concern may suggest a solution that would otherwise not have been thought of.
It is essential that government officials actively collect information themselves. They must also create an environment where outsiders feel welcome to come and provide information as this might turn out to be extremely useful. Some people are more conscious of particular problems than others. The public should be given an opportunity to inform the government of areas of concern and their views on how to improve the situation, be it in the form of a complaint.
Having information is of little value in itself. Analyzing information and taking action based on this analysis is what makes information valuable. In a society that has more information than it has the capacity to analyze in full, people must learn how to collate disorganized scraps of information to extract clues as how to solve their problems. Provided the same information, the conclusion drawn may be very different depending on how it is analyzed. The ability to analyze information effectively will become more and more important.
Once a problem is recognized, the next stage is to think of a solution. In a society that is changing rapidly, applying an idea which worked previously in a similar situation to the current problem is no longer enough. Fresh points of view and new perspectives are essential, and this is where creativity comes into play.
Creativity can not be developed in a short period of time. The accumulation of various knowledge over a long period of time and an awareness of essential issues is required to nurture creativity. Imagination and curiosity such as thinking what would happen if this or that solution was applied, are qualities that are essential to creativity.