Problems are life’s ingenious habit of tossing a curly one in our path, just when things are going smoothly or when they couldn’t be worse.
In business, people often adopt a very black and white approach to solving problems; too often, business rewards those who appear to “get things done” and fail to recognise that the problem re-manifests because systemic issues lying beneath the surface have not been addressed. In effect, they removed the stingray gliding towards the company, when suddenly a Great White snaps its jaws, unleashing more panic and confusion.
If you’re intent on solving a problem, opportunities may well arise but for the moment, you need to exercise scrutiny and caution. What can you do?
Identify and clarify the issue or problem
Be clear what the problem actually is. In The Power of Self Discipline, Brian Tracy suggests taking time to identify the true nature of a problem rather than leaping to conclusions. If you don’t get to the root of the problem, he says, it reappears in different forms later.
Understand and respect all stakeholder interests
Involve the relevant parties or stakeholders, and seek their input, making it clear that solutions don’t necessarily rest with you alone. Some will also challenge the way you’ve defined the problem and this can be very useful. There is always more than a single definition of the problem.
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