Has problem-solving ever felt as if you are stuck in a never-ending blender? That’s how Janice felt in dealing with issues in her business. She would get lost in a Google black hole digging for ideas and solutions. “There comes a point where you’re just wasting time and running in circles.”
Her frustration led her to emulate an effective technique created by a local clinic: creating an Escalation and Action Team. When confronted with a difficult problem, they utilized the team experienced in problem solving techniques.
Janice hired the head of the clinic team to help her employees learn the importance of:
- Communication and transparency. Information must be fully shared, and everyone has to be on the same page.
- Identifying the problem. Janice thought they knew what their problems were, but when team members kept asking “Why?”, they discovered the problem was different than originally thought.
- Solving the problem. This requires getting to the bottom of the cause; why did this happen?
- Setting a resolution date, thus focusing effort and creating sense of urgency. Janice remarked that it made the “blender stop spinning”.
- Specifying the desired outcome.
Janice and her team are solving problems more efficiently these days. Effective problem solving is doable when you involve others.