Saturday, May 19, 2007

Fixing Things to Move Forward

We tend to be so busy trying to figure things out, look at trends, strategize etc. that we don’t tend to fix problems. What if, instead of analyzing things to death we fixed them? What if we didn’t look at trends and the why’s and how other companies handle similar situations and worked with someone to fix things and now? What a concept! Why make things more complex than they have to be, at least in most day to day situations.

We live in a world that has to be … should be … politically correct, however sometimes we get into more trouble because of all the checks and balances we dance around for every move and decision we make rather than just fixing it.

I believe there’s a place for looking at industry trends and successes, however I also think problems have to be fixed and not studied and sometimes a fast fix is necessary to move an organization forward. If you get so mired in what’s not working and look for reasons and dynamics and everything else, you’ll still have the problem. Sometimes a quick is just the trick and will help remove all the other roadblocks that will stand in your way.

Next time you find yourself stuck, stagnating, with a defeated attitude, look at fixing the problem instead of ruminating about it or studying it. Have a generative meeting not to rehash everything that went wrong, that can be left for the analysts…but one where the rules of the game are to generate a solution and way forward right now. It might mean scrapping something and starting from scratch to look at a perspective you haven’t thought of yet. If you can’t figure it out yourself, call in a coach who will help you. Again, not a long drawn out contract but a one shot, one session meeting, where you don’t leave the room until you know exactly what you’re going to do.

Leave the trends and analysis for the strategists who will make sure the same mistakes won’t happen again in the future. That’s their jobs. Yours as leaders is to lead and get people and organizations past roadblocks and fast, before you’re left in the dust.

Donna Karlin

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