Problem Solving Solutions

Problem Solving Solutions-21
If you found new questions to answer, go back, but stick to the mindset of this stage.As a team leader/project manager, make sure everyone knows and implements their part of the solution.

If you found new questions to answer, go back, but stick to the mindset of this stage.

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It is a simple 5 step approach, but each step comes with a distinct mindset.

I look at it like jumping from a diving tower for the first time. Consolidate your thoughts and ask further questions.

Bottom line: Entering a discussion with a solution already in mind is usually a recipe for a bad decision, because it’s a discussion that’s artificially constrained and focused on one solution, not needs.

That’s how we end up with Solution$ Graveyards and cascading unforeseen consequences.

“Hey, Stan, what’s that giant contraption over there in the corner? I’ve worked in a number of industries in my career, including health care setting where everybody is frantic—all the time. They didn’t have time to deal with heavy, temperamental Etch-a-Sketches. Millions of dollars’ worth of Etch-a-Sketches collected dust, forgotten and unused in their “ovens.” Everybody was unwilling to talk about it.

Somebody up in Operations brought that in for some sort of Inventory Control Enhancement effort a few years ago. Not sure we ever used it the way we were supposed to. After a few months we finally we wheeled it over there.

Several years ago, the place I worked rolled out a brand new, incredibly expensive (so expensive it made me faint to think about it) portable handheld data entry system for physicians and nurses to use for charting at the bedside. And actually, at the time we’d have called the most commonly available types of such devices i Pads, as well. You can probably think of quite a few examples ripped from your own life when something you bought, either for home or for work, didn’t quite deliver all the features, benefits, unicorns, rainbows, and chocolate rivers it was supposed to.

But those weren’t the solution the big bosses selected. And that’s very likely because the decision to purchase—no matter the size of the price tag—started with the solution, not the need. If I could show you a way to fix this, how interested would you be in solving this problem? Did you see the solution slip in before the needs were fully defined?

Instead, our muckity-mucks chose a proprietary vendor, with proprietary software and proprietary electrical charging stations that were quickly dubbed “ovens.” The devices were as enormous as Etch-a-Sketches. was born in the early 1980s at Xerox Corporation, and it revolutionized the process of creating comfort with high-ticket, high-risk, complex products and services. Did you notice an entire step is missing from a legitimate problem-solving process?

Today, if you have any purchasing authority whatsoever, you already know the patter of a solutions-sale professional: “What keeps you up at night? To refresh, isn’t just an interpersonal problem-solving process: It can also be used at the organizational level to improve decision-making process, improve results, eliminate wasteful purchases, and streamline new process and equipment rollouts.


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