September 26, 2023

🔒 Consuming the CIDER

Editor’s notice: The next is an excerpt from the guide “Reside As A Chief: Instruments and Inspiration to Rework Your self, Your Crew, and Your Life,” by Aleta Norris, Nancy Lewis and John Rutkiewicz.

We’re requested usually to assist leaders turn into higher downside solvers and determination makers. 

We consider that the most effective instruments for serving to your self and others turn into higher downside solvers and determination makers is to have a course of for downside fixing. Such a course of breaks downside fixing into steps that others can be taught and observe. It additionally offers us a framework to know the place folks wrestle and, subsequently, the place we can assist them. The issue-solving course of we’ll share known as CIDER. 

CIDER is an acronym that represents the 5 steps in our problem-solving course of. In the event you have been to do an web search of problem-solving processes, you’d discover dozens of them. Some are 4 steps, seven steps, eleven steps. But, no matter what number of steps we break the method into, all variations observe the identical overarching movement of key ideas. 

The 5 steps of CIDER are:

  • Make clear the issue: Concentrate on understanding the true downside utterly, fairly than focusing merely on signs. Outline the specified state.
  • Determine concepts and potentialities: Delay the choice of options by actively searching for different concepts, potentialities and alternate options to contemplate (brainstorming).
  • Resolve on actions: Weigh the concepts which were generated, together with their implications and potential influence on others.
  • Execute the plan: Put the selections and actions into play, and embrace timelines and deadlines.
  • Evaluate and consider outcomes: Gauge the outcomes of the actions taken and their effectiveness at bringing concerning the desired state. Return to earlier steps as vital.

Subsequent, we’ll dig into every step in additional element.

Make clear the issue

One of many keys to good downside fixing is to spend enough time and power on this first step. The extra we spend money on clarifying the issue and the specified end result, the higher our outcomes usually are. Individuals who wrestle with downside fixing and determination making can shortly turn into significantly better by merely studying find out how to make clear the issue successfully. One motive: Successfully clarifying the issue makes the subsequent step a lot simpler, typically even easy – it’s the brainstorming step.

Determine concepts and potentialities

Two issues about this step: We frequently shortchange our brainstorming and discovery of recent concepts, potentialities and alternate options. Let’s make our exploration lively and intentional. Second, this can be a creative-thinking step, the place the one objective is to generate concepts. It’s not a time to criticize or analyze – solely to brainstorm quite a lot of potential actions and options. Essential fascinated about these concepts occurs subsequent.

Resolve on actions

On this step, we slender down our choices. This step reminds us to assume critically concerning the professionals and cons of our concepts and their potential penalties and influence earlier than pulling the set off. And bear in mind: Fixing an issue (particularly a fancy one) usually entails a number of selections and actions. There’s often no “magic bullet.”


Take motion! Right here’s the place we strive issues. Downside fixing and determination making is usually about working experiments – inserting bets on after which testing options that you just assume would possibly resolve the issue.

Evaluate and consider outcomes

Whereas the 5 parts of CIDER are offered as sequential steps in a course of, the method of downside fixing isn’t often linear. For instance, as you execute your actions, chances are you’ll be taught one thing new that gives a contemporary thought for fixing the issue. Or, as you assessment and consider outcomes, that step would possibly lead you to resolve on a brand new motion you’ll be able to take. Downside fixing is an iterative, holistic course of – not at all times linear or logical.

One ultimate thought: This problem-solving course of could seem plain and even apparent. That’s doubtless as a result of, as an excellent downside solver your self, you already observe these steps, intuitively and routinely. However bear in mind: We additionally want to assist others be higher at downside fixing and determination making. Having a course of like this lets you body it for others, to show and information them on find out how to do it, so you’ll be able to assist them construct their very own capability, perception and psychological fashions for find out how to deal with issues.