A living Redeemer

A living Redeemer

“I know that my Redeemer liveth.” Job 19:25
The marrow of Job’s comfort lies in that little word “My”—”My Redeemer,” and in the fact that the Redeemer lives. Oh! to get hold of a living Christ. We must get a property in Him before we can enjoy Him. What is gold in the mine to me? Men are beggars in Peru, and beg their bread in California. It is gold in my purse which will satisfy my necessities, by purchasing the bread I need. So a Redeemer who does not redeem me, an avenger who will never stand up for my blood, of what avail were such? Rest not content until by faith you can say “Yes, I cast myself upon my living Lord; and He is mine.” It may be you hold Him with a feeble hand; you half think it presumption to say, “He lives as my Redeemer;” yet, remember if you have but faith as a grain of mustard seed, that little faith entitles you to say it. But there is also another word here, expressive of Job’s strong confidence, “I know.” To say, “I hope so, I trust so” is comfortable; and there are thousands in the fold of Jesus who hardly ever get much further. But to reach the essence of consolation you must say, “I know.” Ifs, buts, and perhapses, are sure murderers of peace and comfort. Doubts are dreary things in times of sorrow. Like wasps they sting the soul! If I have any suspicion that Christ is not mine, then there is vinegar mingled with the gall of death; but if I know that Jesus lives for me, then darkness is not dark: even the night is light about me. Surely if Job, in those ages before the coming and advent of Christ, could say, “I know,” we should not speak less positively. God forbid that our positiveness should be presumption. Let us see that our evidences are right, lest we build upon an ungrounded hope; and then let us not be satisfied with the mere foundation, for it is from the upper rooms that we get the widest prospect. A living Redeemer, truly mine, is joy unspeakable.
Good Morning

EIGHT STEPS TO OVERCOME TEMPTATION

To live an exemplary life demands a lot of responsibility. It pays to live by a high moral and spiritual standard. However, temptations often draw us away from such noble ways of living. This post shares 8 responsibilities of the believer in overcoming temptation and living a victorious life above sin.

What is Temptation?

Temptation is the desire to do something, that is especially considered wrong or unwise. In the context of the Christian faith, a temptation is a tendency or urge to act or feel in a particular way contrary to the tenets of scriptures.

SOURCES OF TEMPTATION

James 1:14 speaks of the core sources of temptation as lust and enticement. Temptation often occurs under the following conditions:

  1. Manipulation by Others. Deuteronomy 13 is clear on how God perceives manipulators and enticers to sin. He calls for their death according to the law.
  2. Unjustifiable Curiosity. There are certain desires for knowledge that leads to sin. One should be careful of how he seeks to learn or know deep things. So many things are shrouded in mystery but the gospel of Jesus is simple. 2 Corinthians 1:12, 2 Corinthians 11:3. This was how eve was drawn to sin.
  3. Inordinate Desires. Romans 1:28-29, Galatians 5:19-21 lists these desires. They are evidences of things that grieve God and creates a strain in fellowship.
  4. Perception of Loss or Failure. We are often tempted to indulge in ignoble things when we are afraid of losing out. It is the Holy God that teaches to profit. He will not tolerate unholiness in his “classroom”. Isaiah 48:17.

In 1 Corinthians 10:13, the bible says that there is no temptation that we face that is unique to us as individuals. We often face what others have faced or are currently facing. Temptations are a test of the strength of our character.

It is the desire to live a life of honour and dignity that makes overcoming temptation an important issue. We live in a world where the strength of morals has taken a deep decline and what is considered noble has been shrouded with inordinate quests and false definitions of success.

Temptation is a process that culminates in the loss of divine life in the believer. It begins with lust and proceeds to sinful acts which now ends up in the loss of divine nature. James 1:14-15.

GODS ROLE TOWARDS THE BELIEVER WHEN TEMPTED.

The bible (1 Corinthians 10:13) however stresses that God sieves the kinds of temptations that confront us. He doesn’t allow temptations come to us that is beyond our capacity. This therefore suggests that there is no form of temptation that has the power to overrun the believer. There is even more comfort for the believer because the bible (1 Corinthians 10:13) says that even when the temptation comes, God will provide a path of endurance while lasts and lurks around your life.

So we say that when a believer is tempted, God:

  1. He determines the strength of temptation that comes to the believer. God protects him from being tempted above his capacity. God doesn’t allow you to be tempted beyond your level of competence.
  2. He provides a way escape or path to endure and overcome the temptation. He is the one that makes a way where there seems to be no way. He needs the believer to be discerning of possibilities and not hinderances, obstacles and inhibitions.

This leaves the believer with a few responsibilities

THE BELIEVERS RESPONSIBILITY TO OVERCOME TEMPTATION

  1. Be conscious of God’s provision to help you in any tempting situation. There is always what to do to connect with what God has provided. Never assume that you are not well equipped to overturn any tempting situation. You must be conscious that in every tempting situation, you have what it takes to stand and overcome. Discover the way out of every temptation that comes towards you. Temptations that come to you are permitted by God. He knows you can’t fall. If you fall, it’s your fault. You need to be conscious of your strength in Christ. If you walk in ignorance, the devil will shortchange you. 1 Corinthians 10:13,
  2. Take heed to Gods Word. This will help you to build up your strength before any temptation comes towards you. If you fall when tempted, your strength is small (Pro.24:10) Build up strength by heeding to Gods word. Psalms. 119:9-11, Proverbs 24:5, John 17:17, Acts 20:32
  3. Pray for the Strength. Your prayers are a way to ask God for strength and grace to ward off temptations when they come. Matt. 26:41, Jude 20.
  4. Forgo Self Gratification. There should be a great sense of intentionality when it comes to addressing the inordinate desires that paves way for sinful acts. Romans 13: 14 is clear to say there should be no thought or plans to satisfy or fulfil these inordinate quests that are contrary to the expectations of a Christian character.
  5. Grow into Spiritual Maturity. 1 Corinthians 3: 1-3 explains that carnality (not spiritual; merely human and temporal) is a sign of christian immaturity. It finds expression in envy, divisions and strife. It is important therefore to have a growth plan. A Christian that must avoid the sting of temptation and the wages of sin must purge himself fit for enlistment in Kingdom activities (2 Timothy 2:19-21). Believers must work hard to purify themselves.
  6. Surround yourself with people of value. The friends we keep fan the flame of our desires into manifestation. Amnon according to 2 Samuel 13 has an inordinate desire to have sexual relations with his sister but he could not carry out this enterprise on his own. However, his friend Jonadab helped him to plot his way to committing the sin. The scriptures have warned severally about not walking in the counsel of the ungodly, not sharing paths with sinners and not being in the company of those that scorn honorable living (Psalm 1:1-3). Evidently evil communication and association corrupts good manners.
  7. Resist the Devil. Whatever you don’t confront you wont conquer. Whatever you don’t resist has a right to remain. Whatever you don’t want in your life, you must not watch growing in your life. The Devil is going around looking for who to devour, resist him and he will leave you alone. (1 Peter 5:8, James 4:7). Don’t tolerate his suggestions and agents around your life.
  8. Run away from Dangerous Spots. 1 Corinthians 6: 18 says we as believers should flee from fornication. 1 Thessalonians 5:22 says we should abstain from all appearance of evil. The moment you find yourself in a situation that may threaten the sanctity of your faith, run away. That place has become a situation of danger to your relevance before God.

FINAL WORDS

We are the apple of Gods eye. We are a choice seed in His hands. We are to be preserved blameless so we can be presented to him as a glorious church not having any spot or wrinkle.

Female Filmmakers, Sony Wants to Give You $8K in Cash & Gear for Your Next Production

Sony’s Alpha Female+ is hellbent on lowering gender disparity in film and helping you shoot something cool.

In 2018, Sony launched the Alpha Female line. Now in 2021, they’ve added a “+” to the newest iteration of their lady-creatives residency, which comes with more grants for more filmmakers.

Who is this for? Female filmmakers over 18 who live in the United States or Canada. (And also female photographers too, but we won’t hold it against them.) How do you get the cash and gear? You send in some details about who you are and a description of your next video project. If you are one of the 12 filmmakers selected, you’ll get $8,000 in cash and gear!

Why this grant?

“In a year of firsts for everyone, we had several of them too, not the least of which was the launch of Alpha Female+, the latest evolution of our Alpha Female Creator-in-Residence program that began in 2018,” explained Sony’s Michaela Ion.

“If you’re new to Alpha Female, here is the view from above: Our lives are richer when we can see the world through different perspectives. In the photography and video industry there’s a substantial disparity in gender and minority representation, which means some perspectives don’t see the light of day and we’re the poorer for it. Alpha Female was created to help close the gap and make our industry an environment where all voices have an opportunity to thrive.”

Check out the contest video here.

Sound interesting? Let’s take a look at what’s at stake in the prize breakdown from Sony:

  • A $5,000 grant to fund a specific, well-defined project
  • A full-frame Sony camera and lens (value of $3,000+) to shoot your project
  • A one-year full Adobe Creative Cloud All Apps subscription, courtesy of our friends at Adobe (value of $636), to edit your project
  • A one-year Sony PRO Support membership and a training session with a Sony Pro Support expert so you can make the most of your gear
  • The opportunity to have your project featured on AlphaUniverse.com and Sony Alpha social channels

If this sounds exciting to you, let’s dive into the rest of the details.

First off, the deadline is May 2, 2021.

Secondly, here is the list of the three main criteria for submission from Sony Alpha Female+.

  1. An introduction video about yourself on Youtube or Vimeo. According to Sony, the big requirement here is that you are on-camera and not doing a voice-over.
  2. A proposal describing your project. You have 500 words to explain how you would use the money and gear for a project that can be completed within one month
  3. A video reel of your work.

If you feel like you need more info to put together your application, there is even a free workshop about the grant on April 15. According to Sony:

“The Alpha Female+ contest is an opportunity not to be missed. Join us to learn about the program, the 12 grants, and how to make the most of your application. Get live answers from the program leader, as well as Artisans Brooke Shaden and Tomayia Colvin, and previous grant winners.”

Just visit the Alpha Female+ page to sign up. If you have multiple ideas, know that you can apply once a month with a new idea. And applications are open until the final grant is awarded!

If this sounds like something that might fit, check out all the grant guidelines and FAQ, and then apply at Sony Alpha Female+ here.

If you do apply, good luck!

HOUSE OF CHEFS Reality TV show – CALL FOR ENTRIES

Media Club Productions is currently in pre-production for a brand new reality TV show called HOUSE OF CHEFS.
Aiming at showcasing the flavours of Africa for DStv’s brand new lifestyle channel, HONEY (Channel 173).
8-aspiring chefs will go head-to-head for a cash prize of $5000 as well as an internship under one of Africa’s most famous chefs. House of Chefs wants to explore and celebrate African Cuisine and those who are passionate about making it!
Whether you are South African or have roots deep up in Africa… we want you!

To enter:
· Send us a 1min video of you explaining who you are, what kind of training you have, why they want to win this competition and favourite cultural inspired dish – please email that to via@mediaclubproductions.co.za
· We also need your current resumé along with your current street address and nationality.
Example: Video attached, Resumé attached (with country you reside in) and copy of Passport.

Production notes
1. Contestants must be between the ages of 18 and 25.
2. Contestants will need to be available for 8 days

CALL FOR ENTRIES – 2021 SystemSpecs Annual Children’s Day Essay Competition

The 2021 SystemSpecs Children’s Day Essay Competition (CDEC) is NOW OPEN.

This essay competition is an opportunity for your children/siblings/wards to make you proud and win amazing prizes.

Having gone through the TIPS for entry submission and become familiar with the few entry submission STEPS, you are now ready to enter your children/siblings/wards for the competition.

About  SystemSpecs

SystemSpecs is one of Africa’s leading Fintech and HR Tech organisations with about 30 years of successful innovation and operations. Some of their brands you may be familiar with include Remita, Paylink and HumanManager.

 

SystemSpecs CSR Focus – Indigenous ICT Capacity Development

A major aspect of our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is the development of indigenous ICT capacity for national prosperity. We believe that stimulating the minds of young Nigerians to consider the adoption of technology to address everyday problems around them can contribute to achieving this objective.

Some of the activities we have undertaken in this regard in the recent past include:

  • Remita Summer Coding Camp
  • Code Lagos
  • DevCamp

Annual Children’s Day Essay Competition

In furtherance of our technology capacity development focused CSR, we inaugurated in 2020 the SystemSpecs Annual Essay Competition that presents children between ages 9-16 an opportunity to think of solving specific national problems with technology.

 

2021 Edition – Participation Details

Topic: Building a more Secure Nigeria using Technology

Categories:

  • Junior (age 9-12) – maximum 1,000 words
  • Senior (age 13-16) – maximum 1,500 words
Entry Guidelines
  • Language: English
  • Number of entries per participant: One
  • Submission Portal Opens: 10 AM, April 1, 2021
  • Submission Portal Closes: 6 PM, April 23, 2021
  • Entry Endorsement: Entry must be endorsed by an accredited school official OR Parent OR Legal Guardian.
  • Eligibility: Children in Nigeria who would be 9 years and not older than 16 years by May 26, 2021
  • Winners Announcement: Thursday, May 27, 2021
  • Award Ceremony: Friday, June 4, 2021.

HERE are a few tips to help you with your essay as we look forward to celebrating you and your school at this year’s competition.

Click HERE to read the competition’s Terms and Conditions.

Submit your Essay HERE

 

Leadership Characteristics to Build

Leadership is not just about being a manager or a boss. Being a leader is about having the skills, qualities, and attributes to inspire as well as mobilize other people to bring an idea or project to fruition.

Leadership skills are important to develop, whether you are a student, at entry level, or a senior executive moving up the career-ladder. The ability to take ownership of something and bringing forward momentum to ensure that goals are achieved is a key differentiator wherever you are in your career.

So even if you are at the very beginning of your professional life, it is important to start displaying leadership as soon as possible. You are going to want to demonstrate to your boss or superiors that you have the initiative, drive, staying power, and the vision to take on more responsibility or even qualify for promotion.

That said, a true leader does not just look to developing his or her skill set in order to achieve rewards. You will end up disappointed when expectations are not met.  True leadership is built on authenticity, integrity, and a body of core competencies that drive success in every area of life – from management, to research, to the simple accomplishment of everyday tasks, to how you manage your private life.

Being able to display leadership qualities requires a robust set of skills to be proficient in and have become part of your personality. Below we have broken them down and given brief explanations. As you go about with your day-to-day, look for opportunities to develop all of these skills and actively work to improve your abilities.

20 Leadership Qualities to Develop

Problem Solving Ability: Leaders are adept at solving problems – identifying the challenge, breaking it down into its constituent parts, and devising the processes as well as the approaches that lead to a workable solution.

Having an Open Mindset: Part of effective problem solving is being open to try new ideas, new approaches, new angles – wherever they come from. Knowing that you do not know everything is a key leadership attribute and opens the door to insight and solutions from a broader range of sources, influences, and cultures.

Ability to Inspire: Managing other people’s input does not have to be overt or official –the badge of manager is not required to lead others on your team. Leaders are those people that inspire and motivate others, by a variety of means to pull together effectively to get something done.

Intuition: Good leaders trust their instincts. They learn from experience. As well as from listening to others and being guided by their peers, who in turn inspire them.

Innovative Mindset: Seeing things from a different angle. Trying new ideas out. Being open to input and suggestions from diverse sources. Experimenting. Failing and trying again. These creative qualities are fundamental to good leadership.

Positive Mindset: Maintaining a positive approach and learning not be side-tracked by the negative has a strong impact on teams and individuals. It’s very easy in work environments to get sucked into negativity that can quickly turn toxic. Good leaders know how to side-step this trap and keep focused on the objectives and tasks that yield results.

Confidence: Believing in yourself, knowing you do not know everything but have the right attitude and the open-mindedness to find solutions.  As well as embracing diversity in thought and learning from experience. Working towards positive results – all of this generates an inner-confidence that reaches and inspires other people.

Robust Communication Skills: Part of leading is being able to share and articulate what you think, need, or want to achieve. Building strong communication skills so that other people can understand and buy into your vision or idea is key.

Ability to Delegate: It is impossible to do everything yourself. And most people hate to be micro-managed in their work. Learning to delegate and to recognize other people’s strengths is a core leadership skill that helps inspire and motivate as well as leverage diverse skills.

Trustworthiness: Transparency is key. Along with strong communication skills, you need to demonstrate to others that you have integrity and you can be trusted to deliver. You are the kind of person that says what they mean and mean what they say. As well as being reliable to not take credit away from those who work alongside you.

Determination: You have a clear idea of what you want, how to get there and how to overcome the roadblocks you might encounter along the way.

Emotional Intelligence: Emotional intelligence is the interpersonal ability to forge or work with other people, in teams, or on a one-to-one. You take the time to understand others and build the skills to connect.

Persistence: You are not a quitter. No matter how difficult a job is or how long it takes to accomplish, you have your eyes on the prize. Being able to endure and continuing, despite obstacles is a key indicator of a leader.

Reliability: You stick to a schedule, you arrive on time, you deliver what as well as when you say you will deliver. Other people know they can depend on you.

Developer of Relationships: You take the time and the effort to see other people’s strengths (and weaknesses). As you develop the inter-personal relationships to develop these strengths in order to build synergies and get things done more efficiently.

Ability to Think Strategically: You understand why you are doing something. You grasp the necessity behind the task and how it fits into an over-arching goal. You think about how best to utilize resources to reach your goal. You are able to make the connections between the different stages of a plan.

Being Organized: From time-keeping to planning to reporting, good organization ensures that things go to plan in the allocated time.

Meticulousness: Good enough is not enough for you. You pay attention to the smallest detail. You are a holistic thinker – thorough and particular in your approach to everything.

Being Humble: Good leaders are those who have the humility to listen to others, recognize and reward them and in doing so, inspire, and motivate them to work together around a shared vision.

Authenticity: It is easier than you think to spot someone who is insincere or prone to “schmoozing.” Real leaders are just that – they are real. They believe in what they do and say. Your charm is genuine.

Take a moment to reflect on how many of these attributes you say are innate to your personality? And how many do you have to work on developing? Leadership, like all other skills, is something that can be actively refined, developed, and improved over time.

6 Useful Tips to protect your mobile devices

It’s important to secure all your mobile devices to protect both the device and the information contained on them from being compromised.  Here are six easy ways to protect your mobile devices from hackers:

  • Always use a password to access your device. If the device is used for work purposes, you should follow the password policy issued by your organization.
  • If the Bluetooth functionality is not in use, disable it. Note: Some devices have Bluetooth enabled by default. Be sure to check, and change the default password for connecting to that Bluetooth-enabled device.
  • Never open attachments from untrusted sources. Similar to the risk when using your laptop or desktop, you risk being exposed to malware when opening unexpected attachments on portable devices.
  • Do not follow links to untrusted sources, especially from unsolicited email or text messages. Again, as with your laptop or desktop, your portable devices risk being infected with malware.
  • If your device is lost, report it immediately to your carrier or organization. Some devices allow the data to be erased remotely.
  • Review the security setting on your device to ensure appropriate protection. Be sure to encrypt data transmissions whenever possible.

APPLY NOW: New global fund for climate stories & impact campaigns

CLIMATE STORY FUND SPRING 2021

The Climate Story Fund will support stories and impact campaigns from around the world that move us closer to a climate just and biodiverse future. The fund is part of Doc Society’s new Climate Story Unit, under the leadership of Megha Agrawal Sood, which formed as part of Doc Society’s commitment to addressing the climate and ecological crises at the front and centre of our work.

We are inspired by the writer Amitav Ghosh who reminds us that,

“When future generations look back…they will certainly blame the leaders and politicians of this time for their failure to address the climate crisis. But they may well hold artists and writers to be equally culpable – for the imagining of possibilities is not after all, the job of politicians and bureaucrats”.

Our approach is rooted in a commitment to climate justice, because this is not only an ecological but also a social and racial equity crisis. We want to move beyond the monoculture of past climate narratives, and support a wave of stories from new perspectives and communities and strategic impact campaigns that can activate audiences who have often been ignored.

And we believe that artists can work better and more creatively when they work in partnership with others. We bring creatives together with climate experts, scientists, policy experts, indigenous leaders, community organisers, youth activists and social scientists to make sure that their storytelling and impact plans are grounded in dialogue with those on the frontlines.

FUND INFORMATION IN SHORT

There will be two rounds for applications this year. This first round closes March 4th and the second will open in the autumn. The grant pot available for the first round is $800,000, and we are looking to support 6-8 projects with grants ranging between $20,000 to $100,000 per project.

The selection process will be guided by the Fund’s principles, including prioritizing projects that embody inclusion and diversity across team and subject matter, and exercise responsible practices when engaging story participants and communities.

We can support projects:

– From all over the world
– Both stories serving local communities, or projects suited to a national or global audience.
– Both new and established artists.
– Completion funding: for creative nonfiction projects, including long form, shorts, and episodic documentaries as well as podcasts and AR/VR completing production in 2021.
– Pilot impact funding: for creative nonfiction and fiction projects of any medium for impact campaigns launching in 2021.

Grantees must be able to attend our virtual Impact Lab during the week of 17th May 2021.

SOME MORE CONTEXT

As an initiative of the Climate Story Unit, this Fund is committed to uplifting the perspectives of black, brown and indigenous lives, many of whom are on the frontlines of the climate emergency, and also to represent those who feel excluded from the climate movement and whose voices have not been included in past climate narratives. Our commitment to anti-racism, economic equity and climate justice will be reflected not only in the range of diverse and global narratives supported by the Climate Story Fund, but also in the profile of the media makers and impact producers behind each project. This will also be reflected in the makeup of the team at Doc Society who is administering the fund, and the panel of global experts who will contribute to the decision making process.

An Emphasis on Impact:

Storytelling as a creative practice is at the heart of this fund and while no previous experience with impact campaigns is required, we need you to be open and willing to embrace this way of working.

Each grantee will participate in an impact lab the week of 17 May 2021 where storytellers will collaborate closely with practitioners, ranging from climate scientists to impact producers to movement builders, to ensure they are building upon existing expertise and advocacy efforts to engage their intended audiences.

Doc Society has created the Impact Field Guide as a useful resource for building impact campaigns. We encourage you to check it out. Other resources to consider are Doc Society’s Green Protocol, the report outs from the Climate Story Labs, the COVID-19 Protocol, and the Safe and Secure Protocol.

The Timeline for Round One of the fund:

– 8th February 2021 – Call for applications open. In the application, you will be asked to demonstrate a clear idea, production, delivery and impact distribution plans or possibilities.
– 4th March 2021 – Call for applications closes at 11:59 PM PST
– Week of 5th April 2021 – Shortlisted applicants will be contacted to supply rough cuts / extended materials
– Week of 19th April 2021 – Zoom interviews (30 mins) for final round applicants
– Week of 3rd May 2021 – Selected grantees will be notified
– Week of 10th May 2021 – Unsuccessful candidates will be notified
– Week of 17th May 2021 – Virtual Impact Lab for all new grantees

The second round of the fund will open in Fall 2021. The Climate Story Fund is made possible through the generous support of a donor network including the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, CrossCurrents Foundation and Beth Braun.

Apply here.

2021: Your Destiny is in Your Hands

“A young chap went to a soothsayer to inquire about the hope of his future.

Right before his eyes, the soothsayer drew two circles. One in white and the other in black.

He then put a millipede in between the circles, saying “if the millipede crawls into the white circle, your future will be bright and very great, but if it crawls into the black circle, then you are finished and doomed! No future at all!”.

As soon as the insect was dropped in between the circles, it began crawling towards the white circle.

This chap was super-excited.

But suddenly, as it got to the edge of the circle, it turned back and began crawling away from the white circle towards the black one.

The boy watched as the insect progressively moved farther away from his desire to his doom.

Then, just when the insect got to the edge of the black circle, this chap stretched his hands, picked it up and quickly but carefully dropped it in the white circle.

The soothsayer was in shock, never seen anyone intervenes in his own matter, watching all the while, asked the chap what he did and why he did what he did.

The boy smiled and simply replied by saying “I cannot sit and watch insect determine and allow my destiny go down the gloom doom! While I can still do something about it and to change its course. My destiny is in my hands”.

He got up and left.”

Lesson:
This year, get the hell up, pick up the damn millipede and drop it where you want. The power to design and pilot your life is in your hands. You either sit down there, complain and feel someone owes you something or get up and determine the flow of your life. It’s up to you.

This is not the year to look for miracles, create your miracles, conjure your own magic.
HAPPY NEW YEAR ONCE AGAIN!!!

Six Steps to Becoming a Better Problem Solver

Whether you are a  student, a parent, an intern, a public servant, or the president of a large corporation you are going to have to face problems at some point.

Problems which will need solutions to solve them.

They are part of everyone’s life.

Like it or not, we all have to make decisions. And the decisions we make need to solve the problems we face. Whether you want to fix a bug in your network, hit a deadline, secure that promotion or start your own company – however big or small, we all set objectives and goals for ourselves that require us to solve problems.

Being good at problem-solving is in big demand. Employers routinely add it to their wish-list. How many times have you seen “problem solvers wanted” in job descriptions? As far as tech goes, the ability to resolve challenges effectively is fast becoming an essential skill for recruitment.

So how do you sharpen this particular skill? Is there an approach or strategy to problem-solving that can be mastered or improved?

Well, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that a systematic approach built on well-defined steps can help you find solutions that yield real, sustainable, and scale-able solutions – whatever the problem.

Problem-Solving: A Step by Step Approach

1. Identify the problem?

There is no better starting point than defining what it is that needs to be fixed.

It means taking the time to thoroughly review the situation – separating the symptoms from the cause. Making your diagnosis is about understanding what hurts and why. This takes time and might mean doing a bit of research to reveal the underlying issues behind the problem.

2. Determine the Root Causes

Once you have identified what your problem is, you need to figure out why it is.

  • What is behind it?
  • What is causing it?
  • Can it be quantified or qualified.
  • What is going on at a core level?

Because as you work towards solving your problem, you are going to want to find a solution that deals with the causes and not just the symptoms, right?  So again, take the time to investigate the situation. Collect information, analyze your findings, and refine your diagnosis.

3. Find Multiple Solutions

Being a good problem-solver means thinking innovatively and that means thinking outside the box. Do not settle for the first solution you find. Push the boat out. Find as many alternative solutions as you can. And then find some more.

This might mean looking for solutions in unusual places or from unusual sources – talking to a different set of colleagues, keeping an open mind, or being receptive to the interchange of ideas or perspectives. Whatever if it takes, once you have a set of alternative solutions, subject them all to analysis.

4. Find the Solution that will Work Best

Easier said than done? Not necessarily. Go about it logically. Answer these questions:

  • Is it technically viable?
  • Is it scale-able?
  • Do you have the resources?
  • What are the risks? Can they be managed?
  • Does your solution benefit as many people as possible?
  • Can it be measured? How will you measure it?

5. Plan and Implement Your Solution

Give this part plenty of thought too. Build a really tight plan to execute your solution.  You will need to cover who, what, when, and how you will implement your plan.

And just as importantly, you will need to think about how you are going to determine if your solution was a success, which leads us to the final step.

6. Measure the Success of Your Solution

How does it measure against your goals? Have you met your objectives? Have you stayed within budget? Is the work complete? Can you see a measurable outcome?

Evaluating the success of your solution is a vital – and often neglected step – because it shows you clearly whether your solution is the correct one, or whether you need to go back to step one and start over. Because a key part of problem-solving effectively is about being prepared to get it wrong – and to learn from your mistakes.

Remember that all problems are simply puzzles waiting to be solved. Practice using these six steps to build your problem solving acumen and you will find that your abilities being highly valued.