Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Problem Solving

A little management trick I learned a few years back for when there is a log-jam.

Each member of your team comes to you and says they can proceed no further with the project (whatever it is) because of problem x which is the fault of some other member of the team or within some other part of the project which is not their responsibility. It is often the case, when an impasse is reached, that everyone blames someone else for being the sticking point.

A wise business guru once told me (that sounds intimate, I read it in a book) that in such circumstances she (or was it he? can't recall) would say, 'What would you do next if problem x was solved?'

Quite often progress was then made with the project which either bypassed problem x or the juxtaposition of the various next steps threw further and clearer light on problem x enabling it to be dealt with.

You can go round, over or through mountains but occasionally just imagine you are on the other side and carry on. Who cares how you got there?

At its best it is the sort of mentality which can stop you developing a victim-focus if you have more than one thing wrong with you.


Cosmo said...

Useful advice. Thank you. I'll tuck that one away somewhere.

Tim Sudworth said...

genius - its probably why Im not a business guru and end up just stealing those ideas instead of coming up with them


Mike Peatman said...

Excellent, Steve. Just thinking through how to apply this to several situations here!