Problem Solver or Solution Creator?

Posted by on Apr 9, 2013 in Performance | 0 comments

Problem Solver or Solution Creator?

The endless problem solving loop.  The continuous challenge of reviewing, assessing, revising and repairing.   Business culture is often rooted in the problem solving process …so much so that we are spending most of our time looking backward, trying to assess and repair, rather than spending our precious time looking forward seeking new approaches and lasting solutions.   There are certainly lessons  to be learned from the past and present,  but at what point do we make the shift from analyzing the past to imagining  and implementing a new future?   How do we jar ourselves loose from the comfort of what we know to the uncomfortable place of the unknown?

 ‘Houston, we have a problem’.  

The Apollo 13 mission control engineers (who were, no doubt, the quintessential problem solvers) demonstrated what can be done when a group focuses FULLY on what needs to be accomplished.  They were given a number of impossible tasks, but I love the one where they needed to create a connection for CO2 canisters with nothing more than plastic bags, cardboard and tape.  Their status quo literally dissolved in front of them and they needed to CREATE A SOLUTION without any of their usual tools to fall back on.   The result was nothing short of miraculous.  All accomplished without the benefit of analyzing ‘how did we get here’.

The shift to forward thinking is not easy, we are creatures of habit.  Sticking to what we know can be one of our greatest strengths (it keeps us safe) and one of our most frustrating weaknesses (it holds us back).

Need a solution?  What if you could …

  • Take a BOLD position that ‘status quo’ is not an option.
  • Resist the temptation to defend what is already place ….even if you are the architect.  Would you prefer to defend the past ….or the own the future?
  • Create an environment where every idea has merit.  Always.
  • Clear the slate. Imagine that you have no history, no baggage, no agenda with the situation ….what would your approach look like?  What would your demeanor be?  Where would your focus lie?
  • Avoid false positives!  “That’s a great idea Jamie, it is certainly something we should pursue, BUT….”     (“BUT” is just “NO” in disguise! )

Be the person in the room who chooses to see the road ahead rather than always looking back.  Learn to create solution-focused conversations and choose to avoid circular discussions that are destined to go nowhere. Choose to create solutions. Period.

What High Performers Need

Posted by on Apr 6, 2013 in Performance | 0 comments

What High Performers Need

Since I am in the coaching business, I am often asked to describe the benefits and value of leadership coaching.   Articulating why coaching is such a great thing can be challenging and in the business world, coaching can be a tough sell to new clients.

So,  whats the strategy…..? (more…)