So, you face a real challenge, something that would test the patience of a saint, or cause a headache to even the most seasoned chief exec. In fact, you may go as far as saying, ‘You know, we got a problem here!’
There are basically only four factors that you need to consider when you are troubleshooting problems, whether they be business or personal. Ask the right questions and you get the foundation laid for solving these situations.
The four factors are: People, Systems, Structure and Circumstances.
Ask these types of questions when things go wrong;
1) Have mistakes been made, and why? Are staff not capable, or have they been badly managed? Do they lack confidence or competence?
2) If management is at fault, was it the system that let them down, the hierarchy or the managers themselves?
3) If the people are incompetent, what can be done to recify the situation? Train them? Coach them? Move them on?
Secondly, it’s Systems:
1) How culpable are the systems currently being used?
2) Is the fault the systems themselves? Are they badly designed or not appropriate to the way of working?
3) Are the people who run the systems at fault?
Next, there’s Structure:
1) Has the organisation or management structure contributed to the problem?
2) Do people understand the expectations of the structure?
3) Can control be exercised over the structure, or is it too unmanagable to work?
4) Are team members clear on what their responsibilities are for maintaining control, and are they effectively carrying out these responsibilities?
And lastly,there’s Circumstances:
1) Are circumstances within the control of the people managing the situation? Are external forces (the economy, weather, government activity) affecting the results?
2) Are measures in place to minimise the affects of these external forces?
3) Have adequate resources been put in place to counteract circumstances that may affect results?
Each of these factors can influence the problems you face to some extent or other. You need to analyse the end results before assessing what can be done. But if you ask the right questions, you stand a better chance of diagnosing the situation and determining the right steps to take to prescribe the answers.
Mark Williams is a learning and development professional, using business psychology and multiple intelligences to create fascinating and quickly-identifiable learning initiatives in the real-world business setting. Mark’s role at MTD is to ensure that our training is leading edge, and works closely with our trainers to develop the best learning experiences for all people on learning programmes. Mark designs and delivers training programmes for businesses both small and large and strives to ensure that MTD’s clients are receiving the very best training, support and services that will really make a difference to their business.