Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Bring me the solution, not the problem

Ever here the phrase “Don’t bring your boss the problem, bring them the solution”? That attitude is causing most american business to miss systemic problems and to mask them with point solutions.

If your subordinates are “quick fixing” problems in response to your unwillingness to listen to their day-to-day problems, those problems may be getting hidden from you.

The following quote from General Colin Powell helps illuminate the problem “The day people stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them.”

You need to know the day to day problems your workers are solving to figure out which processes still work and which need updating. How do you grow a business without constantly improving your product or service? The first place to improve is with current practices that no longer fill your needs?

You must make time to listen to what is not working and test that against operating practices to discover what to change and how to improve. The tools you use can be as complex as a full blown Six Sigma review of a particular process or a simple as counting the number of times the customer complains about that issue.

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