A Fresh Holistic Approach to Problem-Solving in the GenAI World

Greg Twemlow
5 min readMar 4, 2024

Apply Your Adaptive Skills Pathway© — recognizing that problem-solving requires the application of multiple skills

We’re still at the formative stage of Generative AI, and the necessity for a dynamic, holistic approach to skill development has never been more pronounced. That scenario motivates the design of the Adaptive Skills Pathway©, a pioneering framework crafted to empower individuals to navigate the evolving landscape of human potential in the GenAI era.

DALL·E hybrid design embodies adaptability, innovation, and the seamless integration of human and AI capabilities, aligned with the core principles of the Adaptive Skills Pathway© program designed by Greg Twemlow
DALL·E — This hybrid design embodies adaptability, innovation, and the seamless integration of human and AI capabilities, aligned with the core principles of the Adaptive Skills Pathway© program designed by Greg Twemlow

Welcome to Your Adaptive Skills Pathway©

The Adaptive Skills Pathway© is more than just a curriculum; it’s a journey through three distinct layers of skills — Foundational, Integrative, and Apex — that together forge a path toward exceptional leadership, discernment, and collaborative success. This transformative framework is designed to elevate individual and collective aspirations by uncovering the essence of empathy, harnessing the power of creativity, and achieving the pinnacle of leadership.

Foundational Skills: The Bedrock of Personal and Professional Growth

The Pathway begins with Foundational Skills, on which all other competencies are built. These skills are essential for navigating life’s fundamental challenges and fostering emotional intelligence. By cultivating a deep understanding of oneself and others, these skills lay the groundwork for effective communication, cooperation, and personal development. Empathy, collaboration, resilience, initiative, and creativity are emphasized, equipping individuals to face uncertainties with confidence and adaptability.

Integrative Skills: Bridging Knowledge and Leadership Excellence

Integrative Skills serve as the crucial bridge between foundational abilities and the apex of leadership. This level synthesizes basic skills into more complex, situationally adaptive behaviors. Adaptability, communication, and discernment stand at the core of this layer, highlighting the dynamic application of foundational skills to navigate complexities and effectively manage change. These skills are pivotal for refining one’s approach to challenges and enhancing the capacity to adjust, communicate, and discern with agility and insight.

Apex Skill: Leadership as the Culmination of Development

Leadership, the apex skill of the Adaptive Skills Pathway©, represents the zenith of personal and professional development. It embodies the ability to inspire and guide others towards a shared vision, leveraging the full spectrum of foundational and integrative skills to achieve collective goals. Characterized by profound understanding, strategic thinking, and ethical decision-making, leadership is about influencing with integrity and driving transformative change.

Problem-Solving with the Adaptive Skills Pathway©

The Adaptive Skills Pathway© recognizes that effective problem-solving results from creativity, initiative, adaptability, discernment, and leadership. Rather than treating problem-solving as a standalone skill, the Pathway integrates it across various competencies, ensuring learners develop a holistic toolkit for addressing complex challenges. This approach underscores the interconnectedness of skills and the importance of a broad, adaptable skill set for navigating the modern world’s complexities.

My Thesis: Problem-Solving is a Blend of Five Skills

The thesis that effective problem-solving requires a combination of five skills — creativity, initiative, adaptability, discernment, and leadership — is grounded in a holistic understanding of the complexities involved in addressing real-world challenges. This concept moves beyond traditional, one-dimensional approaches to problem-solving, recognizing that complex problems demand multifaceted solutions. Let’s delve into why this combination of skills is not just beneficial but essential for effective problem-solving:

1. Creativity: The Genesis of Innovative Solutions

Creativity is the bedrock of problem-solving. It allows for generating novel ideas and solutions that transcend conventional thinking. In a world where challenges are often complex and interconnected, creativity enables individuals to envision multiple pathways to solutions, breaking free from linear thought processes. The creative mind asks, “What if?” and “Why not?”, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.

2. Initiative: The Catalyst for Action

While creativity generates ideas, initiative propels these ideas into action. Initiative is the first step towards solving a problem without waiting for guidance or permission. It’s the driving force that transforms thought into action, ensuring that solutions are conceptualized and implemented. In problem-solving, initiative means recognizing a challenge and actively seeking to address it rather than being passive or reactive.

3. Adaptability: Navigating the Uncertainty of Problem-Solving

Problem-solving is rarely straightforward; it often involves navigating uncertainties and adjusting strategies in response to new information or changing circumstances. Adaptability is the skill that allows individuals to pivot and evolve their approaches to challenges. It embodies the resilience and flexibility needed to persevere in the face of setbacks or when initial solutions don’t yield the expected results. Adaptability ensures that problem-solving efforts are dynamic and responsive to the real-world context.

4. Discernment: Making Informed Decisions

At the heart of problem-solving is the ability to make informed decisions. Discernment involves evaluating information, weighing alternatives, and foreseeing potential outcomes. It’s about cutting through noise and complexity to identify the most viable solutions. Discernment ensures that problem-solving is guided by critical thinking and sound judgment rather than impulse or incomplete understanding.

5. Leadership: Uniting and Guiding Towards Solutions

Leadership in problem-solving is about more than just taking charge; it’s about inspiring and coordinating collective efforts toward a common goal. Influential leaders harness the strengths and insights of their teams, foster collaboration, and navigate the group through the problem-solving process. Leadership ensures that problem-solving is a shared endeavor, maximizing the collective intelligence and resources available to address challenges.

The Synergy of Skills in Problem-Solving

The combination of these five skills creates a robust framework for problem-solving. Creativity brings innovation, initiative drives action, adaptability allows for navigating uncertainties, discernment ensures informed decision-making, and leadership unites efforts toward practical solutions. Each skill complements and enhances the others, creating a synergistic effect greater than the sum of its parts. This holistic approach to problem-solving is particularly suited to the complexities of the modern world, where challenges are rarely isolated, and solutions require a blend of perspectives and competencies.

My thesis is that problem-solving requires a combination of creativity, initiative, adaptability, discernment, and leadership, which is not just a theoretical concept but a practical framework for navigating the multifaceted challenges of our GenAI world. By fostering these skills collectively, individuals and organizations can enhance their problem-solving capabilities, leading to more innovative, effective, and sustainable solutions.

Introducing the Assessment Tool

Integral to the Pathway is a pioneering assessment tool designed to measure proficiency across 27 behaviors associated with the nine skills. This tool enables educators and HR professionals to gauge individual development accurately, ensuring that learners and employees acquire knowledge and develop essential life and professional skills.

My Adaptive Skills Pathway© pedagogy, assessment tool, and program are a testament to the evolving nature of education and skill development now that we live in a GenAI world. It offers a comprehensive, multi-layered approach to preparing individuals for the challenges and opportunities of the future.

By embracing the Pathway, educators and corporate HR professionals can unlock the potential of learners and employees alike, fostering a more resilient, innovative, and capable society ready to face the GenAI era with confidence and competence.

About the author: Greg Twemlow, Founder of Future Skills Studio.

Future Skills Studio Founder, Greg Twemlow
Future Skills Studio Founder, Greg Twemlow

Greg Twemlow: Sharing what I’ve learned from my career of 35 years as a citizen of the world, parent, corporate executive, entrepreneur, and, since 2018, CEO of Future Skills Studio, focused on experiential learning programs for young people.

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Greg Twemlow

Pioneering AI-Enhanced Educational Strategies | Champion of Lifelong Learning & Student Success in the GenAI Era