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DASH for Personal Development - Problems, Decisions and Solutions Problems, Decisions and Solutions | DASH Methodology

Use the DASH approach to balance the difficult task of getting agreement on a course of action for solving problems when dealing with a group of people

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Problems, Decisions and Solutions

The most rewarding things in life are often the hardest to achieve. Even when you have a great idea, the biggest challenge is often getting buy-in from other people.

The most complex problems are multi-faceted and there are many different perspectives to consider to make an idea stronger and more appealing. Engaging with people helps you to gain the perspective you need to improve your idea. It can also get you the support you need to make it a reality.

The world has been through significant change in recent times: people are highly connected through technology and have access to so much information. Access to knowledge should be an overwhelmingly positive experience; within a short time we can get answers to any question and make spontaneous decisions. 

The reality is there is a lot more choice and more information to consider. This can make it more difficult to solve complex problems and make big decisions, especially if there are many people involved.

As a rule of thumb, as the number of people involved in a problem or decision increases, the more difficult it is to get agreement. In many situations each person has a say in the overall decision or solution. You can weigh up and prioritise the opinions to ease the process of decision making collaboratively. With more complex problems there are too many interdependencies, so this approach does not work, often resulting in sub-optimal or compromised solutions.


The DASH Approach helps solve the hard problems that involve many stakeholders.

Difficult problems often have the following in common: 

  • Problem is not understood until a solution is developed 
  • Solutions are not right or wrong, but good or bad 
  • There is no simple test of success 
  • Each problem is unique; there is no room for trial and error, and there is only one chance to succeed


To enable effective change you need to have a robust approach to solving the problem and to get people moving in the same direction. It is often not an option to simply exclude people from the decision making process since many people have the power to block a decision or obstruct a solution. A solution is often more effective if it gets the support from the people involved. These people can provide insight into the best course of action and to help enact the change.

The most difficult of problems can be daunting to tackle, but the chances of having a positive impact increases if tackled in a way that gets people working together towards a solution. There are many problems that can seem impossible to solve, but with the right solution and the right engagement people are often willing to adapt their views.


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