Solving the “Right” Problem
Something isn’t right. Things are working the way you’d like them to. Perhaps it’s continual issues with your employees. Maybe sales just aren’t where you’d like them to be. Maybe management keeps telling you to do more with less. Whatever the symptom may be — finding the real problem is often a challenge. Firms spend so much time in meetings, putting together project plans and setting up training and development and then find frustration because the problem still exists.Our approach to solving problems includes a diagnostic, or assessment process. We’ve found — over 15 years of helping people and firms be more effective — that uncovering the real issue, the real obstacle is key to implementing plans that work.
What to do? First, it’s important to be objective about what’s happening. We all want to be “right” or to think we know what’s best, so being objective can be a challenge in and of itself. Undertaking a process of assessment means you have to step outside of your own comfort zone and get objective about what’s happening. Adopt the attitude — “I don’t know but I want to find out.”
Second, ask your employees. Ask your clients. Ask your lost prospects. “What’s working and what’s not working?” Don’t fix things that aren’t broken — instead celebrate them and capitalize on them. Focus on the things that emerge as themes to be addressed.
Lastly, put a plan for success in place. What steps do you need to take and what will your success “look like”? What does the picture look like when things are really working the way you want them to? What’s different with you, with your employees and at the firm? Knowing where you want to get to, and then working backwards to create a plan to get there is key.
Establish the steps — craft the plan — get the buy-in from the people who need to implement it — and then keep the focus on the goal. Communicate the progress you’re making and continually ask for feedback as you implement the plan. Be willing to make mid-course corrections and don’t get attached to your plans.
Do get attached to your outcomes. A focus on the end goals, on the success you want to have will ensure you will eventually get there. Lift your head up from the “problems” and see the goal. Keep working toward what you want to accomplish.
And, if all else fails — call us. We’ll make sure you get to your goals!