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6 things that will not solve problems in the workplace


I previously wrote about an integrated approach to solving problems. Here are 6 things that will not solve problems in the workplace:

  • Analysis paralysis. A situation where everyone enters into a phase of analysis that only ends in disaster. Decisions need to be made with the awareness that time constraints are a reality.
  • Decide by committee. Put together a big committee to solve the problem and decide the course of action by consensus. Instead a standardised approach is required and leadership. Less reactive consensus and more proactive decisions. When there is a crisis, it is not the time to determine detailed plans as they should already be in place. If you have crisis and continuity plans, dust them off and use them.When there was a crisis on Flight 1549, Captain Sully said, "My plane!"
  • Silver bullets. As an example an automation tool is taken to be more reliable than adopting the necessary operational process. Or a singular control is adopted on the assumption that there is no multiple causation. There are no silver bullets and a crisis is the result of multiple consecutive failures.
  • If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It. Everything is working, but it is not really done in a way that is optimal. Some people advocate the view, that if it is working, you should not change it. The correct way is to proactively maintain systems to prevent them becoming broken.
  • Yet Another Meeting Will Solve It. To solve the problem, meetings are arranged. Team members that should be involved with delivering outputs or fixing problems start to be involved in these meetings. The result is much like Analysis paralysis above as deadlines slip even further. Meetings need to be short and to the point. Frequent meetings that don't achieve any goals become long sessions of torture in which people fall asleep as in this memorable meeting.
  • Shoot The Messenger. Nobody likes to hear bad news. Someone has discovered a problem, and decided share the discovery. Everyone yells at him or her. Even though they weren't responsible, they are targeted and as a result will never again raise a problem or issue again.

Any ideas on how to solve workplace problems, please leave a comment below. Alternatively, please read more of my articles on problem management.

The article was originally published over at LinkedIn: 6 things that will not solve problems in the workplace


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