03 Nov

Find The Root-Cause Then Solve Your Problem

Last week I wrote about the simplicity of Problem Solving.  A key component of solving any problem is to first identify the problems root-cause.  All too often we address symptoms of a problem and not its root-cause.  Imagine after feeling hot all we did was unbutton a collar or took off a sweater only later to discover that we have a fever and the cause of that fever is an infection from a simple cut.  Trying to solve a business problem based on symptoms alone could end with the same result – you could succumb.  How do you find the root-cause of a situation?  What steps do you follow?

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27 Oct

Going Through the Motions Isn’t Problem-Solving

No one likes problems.  We either try and resolve them or we try to avoid them.  We avoid them by doing nothing or by simply ignoring they exist hoping they will go away.  Sometimes ignoring a problem is a good strategy as not all problems need or deserve our energies to resolve.  However, when we decide to work on resolving a problem how we proceed is important to achieving an outcome.  Too many times I have seen organizations and individuals focus on the process instead of the desired results.  In other words, they spend more time talking about the problem, talking about the problem-solving process and little to no time about executing the solutions to the problems they are trying to fix.  This process focus isn’t problem-solving.

So what is problem-solving?

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20 Oct

Change is More Than a Word.

Change, adapting to change and the ability to change are critical elements of any businesses ability to grow and be sustained.  New ideas, different perspectives, and experiences, appropriate business behaviors are all part of why a business should change.  Some businesses celebrate their change by telling everyone they change for a changing world; or similar words.  Change done right is good.  With so many businesses in the US wanting to be better, to perform better, why, when they recruit for their leadership roles, do they insist that “You Must Be Exactly Like the Person Who Used to Work Here?”

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13 Oct

Covering Up Culture With Compensation

Our current talent shortage is not the first one American Business has faced.  We saw it during the Dot-Com bubble, and different industries have experienced it in a more specific way.  During each of these periods of shortage one trend is constant; to compete businesses feel they must increase the compensation of their employees to attract and retain them.  It doesn’t work.  Someone will always pay more and business will continue to raise wages to be competitive.

More often than not the number one reason that business does not succeed in attracting and retaining talent is their culture.  A friend of mine, Mark Leupold of Express Employment Professionals in Appleton Wisconsin describes this business worst practice as “Covering Up Culture With Compensation.”  With qualification, he is profoundly correct. We are not suggesting that you not pay fair or competitive wages, but we are suggesting that there are other methods that not only are more effective but won’t harm your business.  What does that mean?

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05 Oct

Project Management for Your Business

Like it or not we all can find ourselves leading a workplace project.  Our ability to successfully execute Project Management is key to the success of our businesses.  As a result, we must understand what it takes to successfully manage a project.  By success, I mean not only completing the project on time and within the budget but also achieve or exceed the expected results.  Given that an estimated 80% of our work time is spent on projects the development of the necessary skills to do that is important to our total success as leaders.

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