Any doctor that focuses on an isolated symptom without considering a patient's overall physical condition, can easily make a careless if not dangerous misdiagnosis. Managers who tend to see problems as isolated events, often fail to recognize the inter-relationship between solutions for problems, people not supporting decisions, and new problems emerging when solutions are implemented.
Viewing an organization as a system of interrelationships and patterns of behavior is essential if you want to solve problems and prevent their recurrence. The following list identifies ten symptoms that tell you the problems you encounter aren't isolated incidents--they are visible indicators of systemic needs throughout your organization or team.
- People do not identify or accurately describe problems when they occur, often delaying needed action.
- People spend a lot of time fighting fires and are not proactive in resolving issues.
- Meetings lack focus and often fail to produce the desired results.
- Solutions often lack innovation and don't make measurable improvements in performance.
- People do not identify the real cause of problems, resulting in ineffective solutions.
- Decisions aren't thought out and miss important factors that should have been considered.
- Decisions fail to get buy-in and support or aren't communicated well.
- Avoidable problems emerge when new processes or procedures are implemented.
- People have difficulty prioritizing and resolving complex problems.
- Teams tend to assign a lot of blame when facing difficult problems.
You can measure your problem-solving bench strength and receive a free report by completing a five-minute organizational assessment.