Adonis Diaries

Archive for January 27th, 2012

Why to identify the problem? Is it completely up to you? Who is caring for details?

You feel something is fundamentally wrong in your lifestyle, your business, the company you are working with…

And you can feel that uneasiness is shared by colleagues, your extended family…

And nobody is willing to investigate the problem.  A few have sensed a major problem is pervasive and destroying the spirit, the communication among peers, employees…and nobody dare explode the problem to the open air:  They have settled on an understanding that there are no alternative solutions before trying to identifying the problem or set of problems.

Generally, serious problems are not of technical nature:  Technical difficulties have a large pool of professionals to fine tune and resolve in the short-terms, just to keeping business rolling.

The cancer is in the work culture, the social and community structure that are preventing brave spirits to taking the lead and sacrificing their comfort zone and jobs in order to focusing on identifying the problem.

The main difficulty is how  to:

“Put yourself and your people on a path to finding problems without regard for whether or not they are capable of solving them”.

The process of “Queue the problems up, prioritize them and then go find the help your organization needs to solve them…” is not as difficult as the first phase: Queuing and prioritizing are within the technical nature of problems…

Often, we’re hesitant to identify a problem out of fear we can’t solve it. Knowing that we have to live with something that we’re unable to alter gives us a good reason to avoid verbalizing it, and highlighting it just makes it worse.

While this sort of denial might be okay for individuals, as a survival tactics just to get by for a period, it’s a lousy approach for organizations of any size. That’s because there are almost certainly resources available that can solve a problem if you decide it’s truly worth solving.

Serious problems are people related and are of longer-term natures, the time to re-educate, retrain, infusing a cooperative spirit, a sense for caring to details…

Actually, a culture for caring to details is the main hurdle to overcome:  Until almost every member in the company, the extended family, and the community acquire this culture of being responsible to the details of any task assigned to him, we should not expect general recommendations and orders to have any major impact.

Just because you don’t know what to do about it doesn’t make it less of a problem.

Unless the culture of tending to details becomes habit things will frequently fray around the edges.

Often it’s the CEO or the manager who sets a standard of caring about the details, but this constant watch from the superiors and supervisors are no long-term substitute to the culture where everyone cares, and where each person reinforces that horizontally throughout the team.

Two hotels or two institutions offer the same services for the same price, but with various qualities and satisfaction to clients and consumers. It is not the price or the nature of the business that are making this huge difference in clients satisfaction: It is how the business  gets the details right.

“It’s obviously not about access to capital (doing it right doesn’t cost more). It’s about caring enough to make an effort.”

If we define good enough sufficiently low, we’ll probably meet our standards. Caring involves raising that bar to the point where the team has to stretch.

There are plenty of “great excuses” to neglecting details:  Times are tough, money is tight, the team wasn’t hired by me, nobody else cares, I’m only going to be doing this gig for a year, our customers are jerks… who cares?

Caring, it turns out, is a competitive advantage, and one that takes effort, not money.

Like most things that are worth doing, it’s not easy at first and the one who cares isn’t going to get a standing ovation from those that are merely phoning it in.  The lack of early positive feedback makes caring in service businesses so rare.

Our daily harsh reality is that “It’s completely up to you”

So many things are now completely up to us, more than ever before. Where and how and when we work and invest and interact and instruct and learn…

If you think you have no choice but to do what you do now, you’ve already made a serious error.

Passing the buck because it’s easier than choosing is precisely the wrong strategy.

It enables an abdication of power that will be very hard to reverse. It’s up to you, and that’s part of the power that you’ve got. Choose, pick an alternative: That’s your job.

It is in human nature to lack focus on issues they are not passionate about.  The group leader main job is to tactfully attend seriously to diverging topics, such as alternative solutions to yet non-identified problems, and to  encourage the group to refocus on identifying the problem first.

The longer the identification phase for a problem, the shorter the phase for applying and executing valid solutions.

It is a long process to getting the group members to frequently concentrate on the identification phase, and the various valid extended solutions on the ways will be considered as “matter of fact”, as common sense resolutions, due mainly to the protracted process.

Note:  This post was inspired from 3 short notes of Seth Godin “Solving problems (vs. identifying them)”, “It’s completely up to you”, and “Who cares?” and I transformed them into a unifying concept with ramifications.




January 2012

Blog Stats

  • 1,522,346 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by

Join 770 other subscribers
%d bloggers like this: