“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
The focus of my PhD dissertation, nearly 54 years ago, was a specific theoretical computer simulation solution of an optimization problem. The mathematics were intractable.
Over the decades problem solving has remained dear to my heart. 20 years ago, as I was transitioning from running a company to being an individual business consultant, I labelled myself “Change-Engine Consultant” having been influenced by a title used in a similar situation in the Republic of Ireland.
Since then, I have adopted a practical strategy called the Sequential Evolutionary Approach (SEA) which is about making decisions leading to the best possible solution for a given problem, under defined constraints.
SEA is about defining the problem, identifying decision criteria, weighting the criteria, developing, analyzing, selecting, implementing alternatives, and evaluating the decision.
SEA adopts a step-by-step approach (sequential) to progress. Valuable intelligence is garnered after taking that first step and this information determines the length and direction of the next step (evolutionary)…and so on for successive steps.
Recently I have reflected on finding solutions to specific problems integral to (1) choosing of a perfect residence as an investment, (2) re-engineering a business operation to give a better return on investment for stakeholders, (3) stabilizing West Indies (WI) cricket performance to engender a spirit of positivity, (4) quelling the raging COVID-19 pandemic and knocking the COVID-19 ball out of the park the (5) the CO P26 climate talks will hopefully help with retarding the rate of sea level rise.
In each of these five examples the common theme is to find the best solution from all feasible solutions to the problem. In mathematics, computer science, operations research, and economics this is called optimization.
A real estate agent is a licensed professional who represents buyers or sellers in real estate transactions. This is the first point of call when seeking an investment property. You are well advised to explore everything in the market.
There are several variables such as location, price, ROI, size, maintenance fee which will constrain you. SEA will take you step by step to the optimal solution. Then bingo you would select your dream investment.
Very often we set about developing our dream business and expand it over the years. We aim for excellence in service delivery, happy employees, satisfied clients and a better than average ROI.
SEA will open our minds to other strategies, and we are then thrust into another direction to re-engineer the business and take off into another more profitable venture. All stakeholders will be fulfilled.
WI Cricket performance is a unifying factor in the Caribbean. If we perform well then, the region gets a boost. If we perform badly then there is a slump.
Unfortunately, the performance in all forms of the game is way below par. Leadership and planning are weak and this is manifested in the selection process, age of players, balance of the team, regional coverage, and investment funds.
COVID-19 is a threat to lives and livelihoods. Leaders are too timid. They need to aggressively procure more vaccines and introduce compulsory vaccination as some countries like Austria and Singapore have done.
COP26 has just been concluded. The financing required for a solution is gargantuan compared with solutions to other global problems. Nevertheless, we must act or perish.
SEA is simple as a strategy.
Basil Springer GCM is a Change-Engine Consultant. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. His columns may be found at www.nothingbeatsbusiness.com)