Problem-Solving Techniques - Part 5 - RegInsights

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This is our concluding article on problem-solving. It is a good time to make some general remarks about the craft and skill of problem-solving before we deal with the PESTEL technique. 

A Vital Skill 

Problem-solving is a critical and vital skill necessary for any organisation to move forward and succeed. It requires the ability to identify and solve problems, whether they are technical or decision-making in nature or to find innovative solutions to persistent problems. Strong problem-solving skills are especially important for leaders within organisations, as these transferable skills can be applied to many different situations in the workplace, at home, or in day-to-day life experiences. 


Organisations that have strong problem-solving abilities can identify and address challenges in a timely and effective manner, which is essential for driving progress, adaptation, and growth. Without these skills, organisations may struggle to overcome obstacles, and this will hinder their success. Problem-solving capability is also very useful in identifying and seizing new opportunities. It can help organisations stay ahead of the competition and remain innovative by finding new markets to tap into or developing more efficient production processes.  

Continuous Learning 

A culture of continuous learning and encouraging employees to embrace challenges and failures as opportunities for growth and improvement can develop problem-solving skills. A growth mindset is a belief that abilities can be developed through effort and learning. When team members are provided with opportunities to learn and practice problem-solving skills, it builds a strong problem-solving culture within the organisation and equips teams with the necessary skills to drive success. 

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Collaboration and open communication can be crucial in solving problems. Creating an environment where all team members feel comfortable sharing ideas and seeking help can foster a culture of problem-solving and continuous improvement. By implementing these strategies and providing opportunities for employees to practise and develop their problem-solving skills, you can equip your team with the skills they need to drive success and build a strong problem-solving culture. 


Effective leadership is crucial in driving problem-solving within an organisation. As a leader, you play a key role in setting the tone and culture of your organisation. By fostering a culture of problem-solving and continuous improvement, you can develop strong problem-solving skills throughout the organisation. Leaders can set a good example by demonstrating strong problem-solving skills, taking a proactive approach to identifying and addressing challenges, seeking out new opportunities, and continuously learning and improving. Recognising and rewarding employees who demonstrate strong problem-solving skills encourages a culture of problem-solving and continuous improvement within the organisation. By taking an active role in fostering a problem-solving culture and providing the necessary resources and support to tackle challenges, you can play an important role in making your organisation thrive and succeed. 


The PESTEL Technique 

The PESTEL technique is the last in our series. The PESTEL technique is a framework used to analyse and monitor the macro-environmental factors that have an impact on an organisation, company, or industry. PESTEL stands for Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental, and Legal factors. It will help you to identify threats and weaknesses which are used in a SWOT analysis. The PESTEL method is used to analyse the context in which a company exists and is an essential analysis tool for any strategist’s toolkit. It is used by management teams and boards in their strategic planning processes and enterprise risk management planning. PESTEL analysis is also a very popular tool among management consultants to help their clients develop innovative product and market initiatives, as well as within the financial analysis. The PESTEL framework is used to evaluate the business environment in which a firm operates and can have a profound impact on risks and opportunities for firms. 

How to do a PESTEL Analysis 

Follow these steps to conduct a PESTEL analysis: 

  1. Select the objective and scope of analysis, including the geographical locations you are targeting, the extent of data you will need, and the factors relevant to your business. 
  2. Identify the Political factors, including government policies, leadership, and change; foreign trade policies; internal political issues and trends; tax policy; regulation and de-regulation trends. 
  3. Identify the Economic factors, including economic growth, inflation, exchange rates, interest rates, and unemployment rates. 
  4. Identify the Social factors, including demographics, lifestyle changes, consumer attitudes and opinions, and cultural barriers. 
  5. Identify the Technological factors, including new technologies, research and development, automation, and innovation. 
  6. Identify the Environmental factors, including climate change, natural disasters, pollution, and sustainability. 
  7. Identify the Legal factors, including employment laws, health and safety regulations, discrimination laws, and antitrust laws. 
  8. Analyse the data collected and identify the threats and weaknesses that could impact your organisation, company, or industry. Use this information in a SWOT analysis to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. 

Comparing PESTEL and SWOT 

PESTEL analysis and SWOT analysis are two different strategic planning frameworks used to analyse a company’s financial health and competitive advantages or disadvantages. [See previous article on SWOT Analysis] While PESTEL analysis examines external factors that could affect a business, SWOT analysis considers both internal and external factors. PESTEL analysis examines the Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental, and Legal factors in the external environment, while SWOT analysis examines Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats both internally and externally. PESTEL analysis is used to identify threats and weaknesses which are used in a SWOT analysis. To sum it up, a PESTEL analysis is a first sweep, followed by a SWOT analysis. 

In Conclusion 

Problem-solving is a crucial ability in the corporate realm. It plays a pivotal role in enabling establishments to recognise and tackle issues with speed and efficiency. By providing a solution-driven approach, these skills aid organisations in surmounting obstacles and capitalising on new opportunities. Moreover, strong problem-solving skills catalyse innovation and enhance decision-making, ultimately leading to amplified productivity, and heightened customer satisfaction. Businesses need to cultivate a culture that fosters and supports problem-solving, as it is a key determinant of their success. A vibrant culture of problem-solving enables businesses to remain adaptable, proactive, and perpetually ready for new challenges, thereby ensuring their continued growth and prosperity. So, it is imperative for you, a business leader, to prioritise the development and cultivation of this skill set within your organisation’s workforce. 

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