BUSINESS MANAGEMENT - PROBLEM SOLVING
This is the 27th of a series of newsletters published on Business Management and Management Skills. Not all topics will apply to your business, but each section will be beneficial to establish company goals and objectives. By reading and studying these newsletter articles, youre taking the first step in achieving your goals.
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We encounter problems every day, at home and at work, with our families and our associates. And we spend a tremendous amount of time and energy trying to solve them. Many times we find that we havent! There is a theory called breakthrough thinking, which is an approach to planning and problem solving based on scientific theories and years of research. It begins by defining our purpose in solving a problem, rather than focusing on what is wrong in a situation.
Breakthrough thinking assumes that the world is always in a state of flux. Each solution often creates a new problem (today becomes history, the future becomes today). No matter how similar the problems may appear on the surface, no one solution can work all the time or for all things. To take advantage of these ever-changing conditions, this process always seeks out the solution-after-next. As a result, it represents a process rather than a fixed goal - a flexible plan to achieve what matters most to us. The process is founded upon the following basic principles:
In spite of the most careful planning, it is impossible to anticipate every problem. You cant accurately predict long-range weather, sickness, business conditions, or financial security of your customers. So, when a problem shows up, make sure you understand the facts in order to attack it directly. Dealing with the side effects or secondary impacts will not remove the problem. Covering up for an employee who is often late or absent without cause is only a temporary solution. Find out why, and take a course of action. The longer the noxious weed is allowed to grow, the deeper the roots, and the more difficult it is to remove.
On occasion, there will be no clear-cut solution. In such cases, when you recommend action, have an alternative plan in mind to be used in case of failure. I have a technique that I use with my employees that seems to work very well because it not only reduces my problem-solving responsibilities, it instills greater confidence in problem solving for them. I tell them: Dont bring me problems, bring me solutions. I have more than enough problems - what I need are solutions for the ones I already have!
Mike Holts Comment: I would like to extend a special thank you to L.W. Brittian, a Mechanical & Electrical Instructor in Lott, Texas, for reviewing and editing the various articles in these newsletters. His comments and suggestions have been invaluable in the preparation of my Business Management and Management Skills Workbook. This newsletter article was extracted from that workbook. Watch for our next newsletter, and as always, we invite your comments and feedback. Send us your real-life experiences. We value your opinions and participation. Please respond to email@example.com. And be sure to visit Mike Holts Website at http://www.mikeholt.com
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