Developing an entrepreneurial mindset - Problem Solving

We continue the series of self-paced videos for Module Three - Developing an entrepreneurial mindset - with problem-solving through creativity and innovation.

We're going to cover:

  • What is problem-solving and how is done​
  • Action: Solve the candle classical problem​
  • How to solve problems with the effectuation model​
  • What to be aware of when it comes to problem-solving​
  • Action: Use 6 Thinking Hats to get creative & innovative​

Problem-solving means:

  • Addressing new situations through original thinking & adaptability
  • Striving for a goal, without having ready means to obtain it
  • Moving from the initial state to a goal, via intermediary manageable goals
  • Applying one of: difference reduction, working backward, means-ends
  • Analyzing situations, drafting strategies & making informed decisions.

Solve The Candle & ​The Box Problem

Dunker’s Candle Problem: How can you fix a candle on a wall (a corkboard), so that its wax doesn’t drip on the table below? You only have a box of matches and a box of pushpins.

How to solve problems with the Effectuation Model​

1. The bird-in-hand principle for starting with what you already have

2. The affordable loss principle for investing only what you can lose

3. The crazy quilt principle for forming alliances with all sorts of partners

4. The pilot-in-the-plane principle for shaping and co-creating the future

5. The lemonade principle for making the best out of every situation


  • Don’t hurry up to fix it, rather try to understand it first.
  • Solving a problem is the result of mentally representing it.
  • How you frame the problem can help you or block you.
  • Your level of expertise will help you solve problems easier & faster.
  • Your thinking processes become automatic with experience.

Use 6 Thinking Hats With a Twist​

  • White hat = Sherlock Holmes​; Facts, data, information
  • Red hat = Forrest Gump​; Emotions, feelings, intuition
  • Black hat = Hermione Granger​; Risks, weaknesses, problems
  • Yellow hat = Willie Wonka​; Benefits, opportunities, options
  • Green hat = Jack Sparrow​; Ideas, exploration, creativity
  • Blue hat = Gandalf​; Strategy, meta-thinking, mentor ​

“Every problem is a gift.​ Without problems, we would not grow.” - ​Tony Robbins​

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