OK, how did you go yesterday? If need be, go back to Day 8 and make sure you get the concept. Make sure you know difference between problems and projects. Its important to get the idea that there is a difference between a problem and a project.
Importantly I want you to pick a small problem … and turn it into a project.
Ron decided to turn the late paying customers problem into a 30-day project. He decided to get a list of everyone who owed him money and then call each person individually and discuss the payment issue.
In most cases the problem was easily resolved.
In some cases he decided to review their current accounts status – i.e., 14 day, 30 day and 60 day terms – and in one or two instances he downgraded their status all together and switched them back to payment on delivery.
Ron realised that when he viewed this issue as a problem it created feelings of annoyance and even helplessness. But switching to project mode gave him a sense of influence and control.
Jane turned her problem of interruptions into a project to find out why she was being interrupted, and why she was seen as the go-to person for problem solving. Her project involved collecting problems and excuses. She even categorised all interruptions over a six week period. I often get clients to collect problems over six weeks because it gives them enough time to experience most of the problems they will typically encounter.
Within a week and a half Jane had reduced interruptions significantly simply by recognising that nature of the enquiry and sending the person to the more appropriate person. It sounds obvious right? No biggie. But I am amazed at how the most benign issues can trip up very savvy business people.
In any case, very quickly, her staff learned that Jane was now reassigns the problem uninspected. “This sounds like you need to talk to Joe.” (Of course serious problems were not simply pushed onto someone else. And of course, Jane explored why serious problems were occurring, if at all.)
OK, YOUR TURN
Today, take a benign issue and turn it into a project. Client often says, “Enough already. I get it. I’m handling the small stuff! Its the big stuff that bothers me.” Just remember we are building a leadership muscle. Big problems are made up of smaller ones – always. I’m giving you a Ph.d in Small.
I mentioned that you should get a dictionary and look up problem and project. Did you do that? I would encourage you to Google search project management too; and problem solving. See what you can find out.
Andrew Priestley is a qualified business leadership coach with clients worldwide. He is the author of The Money Chimp, Starting and How Money Flows Through Your Business. You can contact him through www.andrewpriestley.com
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© 2017 Andrew Priestley/TCE Ltd