Having trouble solving a problem at work? Action plan not delivering the desired result? Most leaders will simply adjust the actions on their action plan in hopes of creating a new result. Often this does not work. This is because the problem may lie within the problem solver, or at least how they are observing the problem.
Each of us come with deep rooted ideas and constructs in which we make sense of the world around us. Famed author Peter Senge, branded these “mental models” and described how they impact how we view everything, including the problems we face. It’s these mental models that must be challenged.
Your observations lead to actions which create a result. If we don’t like the result we often adjust the actions, but the observations remain the same. In order to effectively problem solve, we must go deeper and challenge our observations, or how we are interpreting the problem, before we can expect real solutions.
Many leaders feel that they alone need to have all the solutions. This is not realistic. The best way to challenge your observations is to include more people in the problem solving. How are others viewing the problem? What ideas do they have for actions? Involve your frontline team, peer group, or anyone that can share another perspective on your problem.
My experience has proven over and over, that when trying to problem solve, the more brains…the merrier.
David has been an organizational leader for over 30 years in various industries, leading teams as large as 300 people. He is currently completing a Master’s degree in Leadership.