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Problem solving is the essence of what leaders exist to do. As leaders, the goal is to minimize the occurrence of problems – which means we must be courageous enough to tackle them head-on before circumstances force our hand.
1. Transparent Communication Problem solving requires transparent communication where everyone’s concerns and points of view are freely expressed.
I’ve seen one too many times how difficult it is to get to the root of the matter in a timely manner when people do not speak-up. That is why when those involved in the problem would rather not express themselves – fearing they may threaten their job and/or expose their own or someone else’s wrong-doing – the problem solving process becomes a treasure hunt.
Organizational silos are the root cause of most workplace problems and are why many of them never get resolved.
This is why today’s new workplace must embrace an entrepreneurial spirit where employees can freely navigate and cross-collaborate to connect the problem solving dots; where everyone can be a passionate explorer who knows their own workplace dot and its intersections.
In a workplace where silos exist, problem solving is more difficult because you are more likely dealing with self-promoters – rather than team players fostered by a cross functional environment..
When you operate in a siloed environment where everyone wants to be a star, it becomes increasingly difficult to help make anything or anyone better.
Rather than viewing this problem simply as a hurdle that could potentially lose us the client, we took proactive measures (and a financial investment) to show our new client that we were capable of not only solving the problem – but earning their trust by responding promptly and efficiently with a comprehensive step-by-step incident report that included our change management efforts.
This experience taught us many lessons about our company and helped us to avoid many unforeseen problems.
When you know your workplace dot, you have a much greater sense of your sphere of influence.
This is almost impossible to gauge when you operate in silos that potentially keep you from having any influence at all.