When you are faced with a problem, step back and clearly state the problem. Then, brainstorm various sources of the problem. To help you do that, consider these seven common sources to problems:
- Is something in the external environment (e.g., customer, competitors, regulatory, etc.) causing the problem?
- Are your goals, initiatives, or plans leading to the problem?
- Is something in your processes, procedures, or underlying technology contributing to the problem?
- Have you organized your team or their work environment in a way that is leading to difficulties?
- Are you understaffed or ineffectively staffed?
- Do your people have the skills, knowledge, and abilities that they need?
- Something else. Might something not listed above be causing the problem? Get creative.
Patrick Leddin, PhD is a speaker, global leadership consultant, and The Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Five-Week Leadership Challenge. Patrick is an Associate Professor at Vanderbilt University with a thriving leadership blog and podcast, and 25-years of leadership experience. He offers an unparalleled mix of academic rigor and real-world experience.