Do You Want To Solve Your Problem Or Figure Out How To Live With It?

When it comes to problem solving, the challenge is we generally start from a place of what we know. Perhaps we have been doing something in our company for a long time but now growth or some other change has increased the demand on the old way of doing it. Or maybe you've been able to deal with your kid in a certain way but then they get older and their friends change and they have different ideas that has to change how you interact with them. 

We deal with problems and most of the time problems come about from some sort of change. If things happened the same way it would be easy to figure out how to manage your problems, find solutions that fix them and get things humming. The hard part is just when you think you have a problem solved something else changes and a new problem comes along. My wife and I have joked for years how every time we start to feel like we have this parenting thing down our kids grow out of one stage and into another. I mean you can try to parent a teenager the same way a toddler, they probably both listen to you about the same, I guarantee you it really doesn't work though.

When it comes to parenting it is easy to see how silly that solution is. But yet so often in our organizations we look to solve the wrong problem. When things are getting missed we fix it by assigning more people to it or putting more processes for checks and balances in place. Sometimes that has to be the solution, but it is also the easy solution. If one person can no longer do the job, we assign two when we should instead be looking for ways to solve the problem so one person can still do the job. Or we try to make sure one person isn't in charge of too much so we split up responsibilities to the point nobody knows who is responsible.

Problem solving is hard, if it was easy then it wouldn't be a problem of course. When we are stuck with a problem the first thing we need to figure out is if we are actually trying to solve a problem. If you are just trying to figure out how to live with a problem that is an entirely different exercise.


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