The Fundamentals

The Problem Solving Journey

Success in the business world is all about solving problems, says Christopher Hoenig, entrepreneur and former director of information management and technology for the General Accounting Office. To be a better problem-solver, Hoenig says you need to perform six essential acts, from "Generate the Mindset" to "Deliver the Results."

"Generate the Mindset" helps the innovators on your staff develop ideas and creative attitudes. "Know the Territory" assists you in asking the right questions to uncover critical information. "Build the Relationships" is all about cultivating interactions to implement change. "Manage the Journeys" involves setting a direction for the problem-solving community you have constructed. "Create the Solutions" is an umbrella skill for combining available tools and people to synthesize answers. "Deliver the Results" shows how to execute the solutions you've devised.

The Problem Solving Journey is a complex book enlivened by brief profiles of well-known problem-solvers, including entrepreneurs such as Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates. If you want to learn more about the book and obtain a free online diagnosis of your problem-solving skills, visit

The Problem Solving Journey is available at

What Are You Reading?
Body and Soul: Profits With Principles (Crown Publishing) by Anita Roddick

"The Body Shop's story is completely inspiring for someone who never thought they could start their own business without borrowing money, having a business plan or selling their soul to make it happen. My husband and business partner, John, and I can relate because she was so passionate about her business and because she had very little money or support when she began."

-Tracy Porter, founder of Tracy Porter Inc., a design and licensing company in Princeton, Wisconsin

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This article was originally published in the May 2001 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: The Fundamentals.

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