Leaders need good information to make good decisions. But there are some questions that actually keep you from understanding - and solving - critical problems. Read more to find out what question is the biggest culprit to preventing you from making a good decision.
|Leaders need good information to make good decisions - and as I’ve written before, it’s completely true that “a problem well-stated is a problem half-solved.” But there are some questions - and the pursuit of their answers - that actually keep you from understanding - and solving - critical problems. There is one surprising question that’s the biggest culprit: “What’s happening right now?”
I hate this question for two reasons:
- It may never happen again.
- It can keep you from asking the truly important questions, which are:
- What happened recently?
- What did it cost?
- What hurt you the most?
|These are what you need to fix. Think about it - there could be an “elephant” in your operation right now, and you could drop everything and fly into fixing it, but that “elephant” could be a one-off mistake, a simple human error, never to be repeated, and never to be seen again. The net result is that you just wasted a lot of time on energy best spent elsewhere.
- What happened recently? You’ve never had an elephant in your house before and now you do. How did the elephant get in - and how can you keep that from happening again?
- What did it cost? Elephants break things - what just got broken, from key processes, to hardware, to human relationships, to customer good will?
- What hurt you the most? This is the real thing you must focus on and fix.
What You Must Know
Instead of seeking to understand what’s happening right now, focus on what happened recently, what it cost, and what hurt you the most. Those questions will give you actionable insight you urgently need.
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