The world is evolving, especially for businesses. Consider that, in a single generation, businesses have had to adapt to entirely new marketing channels (web and social), decide how to invest in and utilize new technologies, and compete on a global stage — things that were barely imaginable to our parents’ and grandparents’ generations.
One side effect of these rapid changes and growth is that no single CEO — or any employee, for that matter — can be an expert in everything. This was, perhaps, always true, but it has never been more apparent.
Challenges are bound to happen and here are some of the ways to handle them:
1.Find the right problem to solve.
Most managers choose the wrong direction because they did not take their time to think about what the real problem looks alike. When facing a problem, first we need to research as long as possible, facing the challenge from different angles, and defining it in several ways to fully understand its causes. If properly done, we will get the right questions to answer.
2. Focus on customers.
Your customers are the backbone of any business. Most business challenges come from the customer side, not from competitors. Usually, we look too much at other companies trying to find the root causes for our struggles. But probably, if we take a closer look, we might find that they come from our mistakes on serving our clients. This point is strongly related to the previous one, and probably the first question we should ask is whether we are failing or not to deliver value to or customers.
3. Take a contextual approach
The focus on customers means a contextual approach. We should explore the whole customer experience, not just our business processes, and try to link each other. Problems are rarely isolated in one department, they usually have interwoven causes, with minor problems feeding back each other to create a big one. At this moment we may find where these problems are, exploring different departments and engaging with all the people in the firm.
4. Try open innovation
We should leverage creativity and ideation from all people. We can never know where the solution will arise. This also means some future thinking, trying to imagine what that future could encompass.
5. Look for multiple solutions
It is important to identify multiple possible solutions, prioritizing them following a simple rule: the most simple, doable solution is far superior to the complicated. Once prioritized and selected, just start trying solutions until you find the right one.
6. Choose the right team
Sixth, make things happen by selecting the team who is going to deliver the solution and measure results. Probably you will find that problem solutions are complex as well, and sometimes have unintended and unexpected outcomes, both positive and negative. For every case, the right approach is to learn from experience and to try another solution again in case of adverse effects.
Problem-solving requires some precise skills, such as an analytical mind, combined with creativity, a proactive mindset, and tolerance to failure. In the end, maybe is all about building resilient organizations, with the skills to cope shocks, adapting and transforming as easy and quick as possible. Probably, this is one reason why innovation is so important for any company. Growing an innovative environment in any company will provide with useful skills to deal with complexity and potential shocks.