Facing a Problem?.... Think "SMART".
What do we do when we are faced with a problem, our instinct is to attempt to solve the problem straight away isn't it ?
In dealing with problems, we need to make decisions. When faced with a situation that warrants a response, we put on our thinking cap. We depend on our thinking skills.
If you think Smart you are likely to adopt a different approach. You will ask few questions to yourself first before addressing the problem.
Should I really solve the problem? Should I get involved? Should I spare my energy and time?
The most important benefit of this type of thinking is you are able to maximize the use of your resources. Competent people approach a problem by 'questioning the purpose of solving it'. This strategy enhances the effectiveness of managing the problems.
Our Employees should "Think Smart" it is about encouraging them; we need to let our employees understand the importance of defining the purposes of working on a problem. The emphasis is to find out what are we trying to accomplish with the problem situation.
- Each problem is a unique problem - understand the uniqueness of the problems and the situational needs, the context of the problem.
- Minimize waste of Resources: plan the resources be it be money, materials, machinery, methods & Manpower to resolve the problem and try having control on the same.
- View the larger picture of the situation: what is going on here and what is wrong, learn to ask what we are attempting to achieve out of this situation.
- Ask: "What else…?": To keep going for more and more solutions, we should learn to Ask: "What else…?" this will help us to develop as many solutions as possible.
- Address the problem with a long-term or a short term perspective: Need to understand the perspective and need to take a call whether the problem needs a long term strategy or a short term.
- Address the problem from a systems approach -The realization that each problem we face is part of larger problem enables us to anticipate the problem(s) we may face when implementing the solutions.
- New and innovative solutions: The intuitive element should be challenged and creative mind should be put on task.
- Work with minimal information - Many of us are trained to seek out a full set of information that is complete and comprehensive when managing problems and work related challenges. Having too much of information in hand may prevent us in solving the problem.
- Involve the people in developing solutions: Their participation and involvement are critical for the overall success of the proposed solution.
- Keep the solutions broad and flexible: so that those who will be managing the solution will have some degree of flexibility. A Standard Operating Procedure type of solutions should be avoided.
- Incorporate timeline: Specific time line has to be defined without which the problems cannot be addressed
- Incorporate right Sequence: Each purpose developed to manage the problems should be in the right sequence.
- Consistent and coordinated approach: It is only through a consistent and coordinated approach that we will be able to make the breakthrough thinking as part of our decision making process.
Problem(s) should be seen as situations that require some changes. The best way to bring out the change is by asking: What are we trying to accomplish here. That is about bringing effective and meaningful change to our life.