Solving Problems, The Line Starts Here

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Solving Problems, The Line Starts Here

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People seem to bring forward more problems than they do solutions. Solving problems seems to be the way we get things done, how we improve our products, our services, or how we make it through each day.

Solving Problems Appreciative Strategies

Outside of our organization we pay people to our solve problems. A doctor, an attorney, technical support, a plumber, or an auto mechanic, we find them or they market to us.

Back inside our organization individuals and teams often feel trapped, paralyzed, and unable to break free from problems. As a result some will never break free. They’ll only breakdown.

It’s the customer service representative, the technical support guru, the office manager, the sales manager, the human resources department, the procurement group, and the small business CEO. Any or all of them can get caught up in being the problem solver.

Is that how it should work?

Solving Problems

At times I’ll ask workforce teams, “What makes up your day?” It’s not uncommon for someone to metaphorically shout out, “Fighting fires!” There is almost a sense of pride and confidence in the problem solvers voice.

For the solution seeker it’s a match. It’s an invitation, a recognized opportunity to bring forward something they feel they cannot solve or would rather not be bothered to figure out. In addition, there is always the excuse from the solution seeker, “It’s not my job,” or “That’s what they’re paid to do.”

Problem solvers tell stories about a line of people at their door, or of the revolving door, and of their frustration with not getting their real work done. For them, inappropriately and often by unconscious behavior they’ve metaphorically hung a sign that reads, “The line starts here.”

Invite More Opportunities

Solving problems is important for businesses. Internally when problems become the habit, and opportunities only seem to create more problems, business slows, sometimes it halts, or as a result of chronic turmoil, it goes away forever.

Perhaps the focus should be more on becoming aware of opportunities, seeking them, pursuing them, and celebrating them. Instead employees often find themselves focused on what didn’t work and consequently they are saturated with negativity and see everything as a problem.

The Solution

Consider focusing more on your successes, what works, and what you’re doing right. Build on your talents, your core competencies, and seek the opportunities that align closely with them.

Approach your work and the mission of your business by being more strategic. Use tactics that pursue strategy, not just tactics that fight fires.

Do you really want the motivation, the energy, the excitement, and the worker engagement? If yes, open your door for more opportunities, but do it strategically, tactfully, and by invitation.

Be careful what you invite.

Start a new line. 


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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