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Solving Organizational Problems - Initial Steps

Updated: May 28, 2023

A leader told me the other day that their business had a major internal process problem. After hearing more about the problem, I told them that though their processes could use improving, they actually had a personnel problem.

They were clearly surprised by my assertion. But, once I broke it down for them, they saw what I was saying. And, that truth began to open up other truths about their business, that they hadn't previously been able to see.

Had we not had that conversation, they would have implemented an aggressive process revamp.

"So what Ioannis?"

Revamping processes when the main problem is a personnel problem, turns both into catastrophic points of failure. Why?

Process revamps always add extra burden to staff for a short period of time. When the main problem is a personnel problem, that extra burden can often grind productivity to a halt.

Leaders, diagnose your organization's problems correctly and then make sure to get a second (outside) opinion. (No one ever gets a second medical opinion from the other doctor in the same medical office.)

Last thoughts: Once you have the right problem diagnosis, don't assume that your title of leader means that you know how to fix that specific problem(s).

  • Leader: "I am an experienced leader!"

  • Me: "Are you experienced solving that specific organizational problem?"

  • Leader: "Well… no."

Inexperienced DIY leadership can be more damaging than DIY surgery.

"DIY surgery? Is that a thing?"

It shouldn't be! Neither should solving organizational problems that you have never solved before.

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