Problem Solving with ‘First Principles Thinking’

Problem Solving with ‘First Principles Thinking’

‘First Principles Thinking’ developed by Vinita Bansal is not entirely new.
The three steps of First Principles Thinking :

are very much the same as the solution focused problem-solving approaches. Our assumptions are the “schemas” or “frameworks” that we employ to understand and interpret the world around us.
Those schemas have been consciously or unconsciously built through our socialization, education, and experience in life, work, and business.

There is a famous dialogue in the movie Top Gun: Maverick, “Don’t think, just do. ” It leads us to think that the best option and, perhaps, the only option, in moments of truth or crisis situations is all about our intuition at the moment. We need to use all our senses, emotions, cognitions, and even bodies to respond to those critical moments and complicated situations. Athletes know that truth very well. They practice, practice and practice so that their bodies, minds, and souls (emotion and will) are all aligned to that one purpose and one moment in the game they play.
In organization and business, very often we just focus on the top leaders, expecting the top leaders to make the decisions and solve all problems based on their leadership and business acumen. We think that favorable outcomes depend on the quality of their decisions. Many scholars and analysts have recognized that while many business decisions are made rationally based on a leader analysis and problem -solving processes, the outcomes could just depend on one thing, which we do not admit but we often crave; luck! or as religious people might say,

Lastly, business decisions are not just made by one person. Surely, we are all fascinated by characters like Musk, who seem to call all the shots for their companies. Realistically, problem-solving in corporations is collective.
Good leaders must empower their teams and other leaders to make decisions and solve problems based on their authority and expertise.

Should we use First Principles Thinking in problem-solving all the time?
Yes, we should, but we don’t.

Spread the love