Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Solutions: Looking Backwards

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About 20 years ago I attended a national conference where I saw something that changed my perspective on how I approached problems.

In the cavernous reception area where people gathered for conversation, coffee, and consumption of edibles, a strategically placed counter was set up. This well-staffed area was dedicated to providing resolutions for the various problems the conference attendees encountered.

What captured my attention was the sign over the counter. It didn't read "Registration Problems" or "Conference Questions", but rather "Solutions".

Often we approach situations with a perspective that's driven with a needs-based perspective rather than results-based. We tend to view things through the problem rather than through the solution.

Here are some ideas to help us become solution-driven:
  • Focus - Don't look at the problem, but rather envision the solution, and then look backwards to determine how to get there. Instead of saying "We don't have any money for a vacation", decide where you'd like to do on your vacation, and then look back at the steps that will be needed to get there (planning a budget, saving money, looking for "deals").
  • Response - Don't give knee-jerk reactions to problems, but rather have a vision for how you would like to see the situation, and methodically take steps to get there. Most knee-jerk reactions may provide a temporary fix, but ultimately compound the problem in the future.
  • Resource -  Give energy, staffing, and resources to the vision, rather than to the need. Resourcing the need only keeps pace with the current situation. Resourcing the the vision puts you in a position to successfully counter problems when they arise.
Perspective goes a long way toward creating success. Being vision-driven always brings a more productive and longer-lasting solution than being needs-driven.

Question: What are your thoughts on providing solutions to problems? Share your thoughts below in comments.
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