Event Problem Solving – A Blinding Flash of the Obvious

Blinding Flash WEB

You solve problems every day. You feel a sense of accomplishment, self-satisfaction, and maybe even relief. But the very next week, the same problem, a similar problem, or a related problem rears its ugly head. You get Déjà vu and wonder what went wrong. You hear yourself saying, “Didn’t I tell them….” “I explained ….” “I thought they heard me say …” Maybe yes and maybe no. If this is happening to you, you may be engaging in event problem solving.

Event problem solving is solving what is happening at the moment with no further investigation. Event problem solving merely applies a band aid to what can be a manifestation of a larger, more deeply rooted issue. These issues can sometimes be the foundation of the culture of an organization. Unfortunately, more likely than not, these are more negative than positive. So how can leadership “see it coming?” When coaching leaders, I will often explain that if you see a problem once, you may take a brief notice of it. If you see the same problem twice, your ears should perk up. If you see that same problem a third time, now you have a trend or pattern. This is how a reoccurring problem formulates and infests an organization. By the time this pattern develops, it is no doubt affecting many aspects of your organization and business. So what is the plan for deeper problem solving?

The Problem with Problem Solving

clean Water WEB SMLReading through the 37+ pages of research for this article, it became clear to me that the problem with problem solving is that there are too many ways to solve problems! Logic leads us to the conclusion that if there are so many ways to solve problems, why aren’t more problems being solved or better yet, why aren’t problems being prevented? One issue has to do with the way we think about problems.