Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Problem Solving Skills for Managers

If I were to take a survey of business managers in my town, and I asked them what one of their biggest time wasters and pet peeves would be, I would be willing to wager that the response would be "solving simple problems." As an employer one might say that that is the job responsibility of the manager, however I beg to argue that it is not.

From a managers perspective, I have a policy with my team that no one can complain, bring up, point fingers, or any of the such of any problem unless they have taken the time to formulate a solution. Granted, their solution may or may not be the ultimate use to solve the problem, but I believe that their is a certain percentage of people in this world that are more than happy to point out problems, but are never willing to do anything productive to solve it.

I understand the fundamental flaw that is associated with this theory. That is how difficult it seems to be to find people who are willing to do that. I am not so arrogant or ignorant to think that this is a natural born instinct that some people have (although, I met some teenagers who are sure close. Its probably the parents) So its my responsibility to train and motivate my team in sound problem solving skills. An interesting observation that I have had; younger people seem to respond better to this kind of managing than older people. I don't know if that is because it is different than other business philosophy's or that I am young, in any case its the way I choose to manage my team.

One thing that I have found to be very useful is to require my people to read on a consistent basis. Their are so many great books written on any subject imaginable. However their are a few that I require as soon as they start:

rhinoceros Success

7 Habits for Highly Effective People

The E-Myth

I think these three books are essential to building a successful and functioning team.