I have imported my favorite posts to that location, and will continue to update the blog at that location.
When getting ready to go into a problem or situation consider the following.
1. Have the right people involved. Communicate a heads up if needed. Your boss may want to know right away.
2. Get the facts. What is the general time line? Keep your opinion separate. Your expert opinion will be asked, but do not mix the two.
3. What's next? X has happened and there is no changing it. A solid plan for execution of what is next helps show control. It also gives you a step by step.
4. Problem Solve the situation. How did it happen? Get stakeholders involved. This is a good place to put together cross functional teams.
5. Implement the process or bring attention and solution to failures.
6. Set steps to sustain. How will you check up some time from now to make sure all of this is still in place?
Without a good process you may end up repeating this over and over. Take the time to do it right the first time. If you do not have time to do it right now, how will you have time to do it again later?
A filter is a very important tool. The good stuff goes in and the bad stuff stays out; nothing too complicated about it. There are various types and sizes for a wide array of jobs. The concept of filter is also used by many when referring to a person's sense of control or tact. I have found that not only is this important when approaching a situation but also when someone is coaching (group or individual setting). Most importantly know when to just take it. Be quiet. An act of being candid often is a land mine, even with familiars. There are also people in every organization that you just take it from, unless a mission critical detail they are coaching you on is wrong... just listen.
Along the same lines I would like to toss out the goat. DO NOT blame shift. If you have employees do not always throw them to the wolves. Most likely people know who was involved. Assigning the fault without being asked or making sure you vocalize "who" can have adverse effects. Your people's view may see you as selling them out and other people may look at how you failed the people; how did your leadership fail. The later will probably happen anyway but accept the coaching opportunity for what it is. PDCA and move on.
Daniel Pink, in his book DRIVE, mentioned an interesting concept that many companies have adopted. Free time.
Motivation is the fuel to invention. Consider the output if employees loved what they were doing. Well if you are struggling... we call that person an artist. We flock to see their art. Some companies understand this. Google has had many of its current projects created utilizing this creative time.
Consider letting employees get to the goal their own way using different paths. Set aside time for people to work on passions - they can be work related. What could it hurt?
This was in USA Today:
From USA TODAY Treating employees well can pay off There's good evidence that companies who treat employees well see their stocks prosper. http://usat.ly/UEIrFg Get USA TODAY on your mobile device: http://www.usatoday.com/mobile-apps
We are quick to problem solve and fix the situation. Whether it's at work or home we want to move to the next thing.
How often do we create a step in our plan to verify our plan is still in place? How many times have issues came up and someone in your group remembers the last time this was an issue? The problem is the completion of the circle. As a part of your plan make sure that an additional step at the end involves coming back to the problem for a review later. If your solution was embedded into the culture then the situation will have been addressed based on the original plan. If the issue came about again then the solution was not correct or being followed.
What are you doing to sustain your plan?