Solve Business Problems – Be Your Own Consultant


Image result for Solve Business ProblemsMost business owners and managers use a “crisis” style, where they react to a problem, formulate a solution (“fix”), and then pat themselves on the back for a job well done. Wouldn’t it be preferable to take a more “proactive” approach, To identify problems before they emerge as crises, develop plans and contingencies to deal with these issues, and minimize resultant disruption to the enterprise,
The popular concept of viewing problems as “opportunities” in disguise is hogwash! Problems are problems. They are the wolves in wolf attire, not dressed up as an innocent sheep. or a kindly grandmother. We can be grateful for this, as disguised problems are undoubtedly harder to identify and resolve. Moreover, we can be lulled into complacency when we believe that problems are either non-existent, or if they do exist, they will open up new and more profitable horizons.
Just like a cop or an espionage agent, you will need to gather intelligence. It’s a shame, but many executives don’t really know what’s going on. They may be removed from the core business, preoccupied with meetings or reports, or receive thoroughly “filtered” information from their key subordinates. We all know that employees hide many things from the boss. This is particularly true when the boss is critical, fault-finding, or unapproachable. So, one item the leader may consider is to be more open and receptive. By no means does this imply being naive. It does, however, require genuine support and a desire to enlist cooperation in identifying problems and working together to resolve them.
Recently there has been a spate of CEO’s who have gone “undercover” in their organizations to discover what is really going on. Fortunately their detective work has been filmed and televised for all to see. Whether the business is trash disposal, transportation, or fast food, the results are similar. The execs discovered things about their companies, mid-managers, processes, and employees, that they would have otherwise not learned. And, it has a bigger impact because they performed the “grunt” work, and know, first-hand, the impacts of their policies and decisions.
The lessons learned from intelligence gathering will surface heretofore unidentified risks and problems which can negatively impact your business. This is essential to problem resolution, and to creating and maintaining an effective, efficient, profitable enterprise.
Remember, just like the unsuspecting “Little Miss Riding Hood” alluded to in the beginning of this article; with our “blinders,” or “rose colored glasses” on, we can miss the obvious.
Physicians are trained to distinguish between symptoms and underlying disease or conditions.
A good rule of thumb here is to ask yourself: “Is this really the problem,” Understand that the first answer will seldom be “Yes.” You will have to do some “digging.” Unearthing the real problem will require inquisitiveness, skepticism, time, and effort.
No matter how smart we may think we are, it’s always wise to solicit input. Other people have different, perhaps unique, perspectives and may see something we do not. Once you have this validation or disagreement you can formulate a course of action. It may be the problem requires more investigation, or analysis.
Once you’re aware of the real problem(s) you’re 90% home. The plans to resolve the difficulty(ies) will need to be developed, implemented, reviewed, and corrections/adjustments made as necessary. You will probably need to designate a change “champion” to see the process through to a successful conclusion. Of course you will still need to be heavily involved.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here