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No Blame Problem Solving – Part I

Business Background and symbol

Moving the people away from the problem and looking for the missing system. What is this going to help you do?

It’s going to help you sharpen your detection skills in the business. It’s going to allow you to see every problem as an opportunity and to make every situation better than it was. If having these problems is situation normal for you, then rather than exceptions to a smooth running business, you’re constantly running into these. So, if you find yourself in that permanent state of reaction rather than pro-action, it’s time for a healthy change. And a good place to start is to sharpen your problem detection skills so that you identify problems earlier, when they’re easier to deal with. And you can do this by adopting this no blame, system first approach to problem solving because it results in permanent solutions and fewer recurring problems. And, of course, an even better place to start is to build your business with well-designed systems that rarely break down in the first place, but few of us have that luxury. So this is the next best approach. Continue reading

Introduction to Systemic Thinking

Problem solving skills

The key to systemic thinking is to focus on effective ways of detecting problems and finding constructive ways of dealing with them.

If you don’t know what’s standing in your way, how are you ever going to overcome it? The daily people problems, frustrations and irritations all feel like insurmountable challenges standing in the middle of your road to success. But they are not to blame. The fault actually lies with missing systems.

I’m going to show you how to identify those missing systems that are the root cause of all your frustrations. How to have your people engage in the process and become part of the solution, not part of the problem. And how to sharpen your detection skills and find out that problems are brilliant opportunities in disguise. Continue reading

Do More in Less Time and Take Back Your Life: Personal Productivity

Businessman writing on a whiteboard

Knowing how you spend your time each day and analyzing how you use it are big steps that will lead you to personal productivity that really works for you.

This is the final step in creating a process for maximizing your productivity to take the best practices you learned about in last week’s blog and maybe some others you know about, and fine tune your sense of priorities, putting them all together into a personal productivity system.

Here are some of the elements:

Make the most of your days. Document how you really spend your time and analyze the way that you use it. When you’re analyzing the best use of your time, ask yourself the question, Is this really something I should be doing, or is it something, given the resources, I could actually have someone else doing, if I had the right instructions and systems for them to follow? What am I doing when I’m doing the work? When I’m analyzing my own time, am I working in my business here, or am I working on my business? Am I working in putting my attention here on finance, operations, marketing? Where am I putting my focus here? Just analyze how much time I’m doing things and how much and what kind of work I’m doing. Continue reading

Do More in Less Time: Best Practices for Increasing Productivity

Increase

How can you eliminate unproductive habits and cultivate productive practices, to get more of the right things done – and still maintain your sanity? Read on for tips on increasing productivity in your business.

The task list is a to-do list, but it’s a little more than that. It’s a to-do list of things to get done, but it also needs to have who is going to do it and the time by which it’s going to be done.

Screening and prioritizing enables you to see what needs to be done and what doesn’t and what work is unnecessary. What does and does not need immediate attention. What you will do yourself and what you will delegate.

So if you’re going to improve your productivity, you can’t simply react to every demand on your time as it comes to your attention. You need to set up a process, a system, for screening and prioritizing your work and your primary tool for this is your task list. Ask yourself, which should I do first, second, third and so on? What are the priorities? How am I going to maximize my productivity? Continue reading

Speed Bumps – Part III

'Bump' written on a tarmac road

Being aware of what gets in your way is the most effective way to deal with the speed bumps you encounter on the way to building a successful business.

Unrealistic Perfectionism This comes out in quite a few people, more than you think, and particularly people running their own businesses. A certain amount of perfectionism is a good thing and it’s important to take pride and your work. But don’t let yourself to go to the extremes of perfectionism on tasks that can be considered complete as they are. Leave well enough alone. If you have extra time in the future, you can come back and make it perfect. But for me, the saying here is, “Sometimes good enough really is good enough.” Continue reading