Archive for June, 2010
There are many styles of management but “management by walking around” should not be used exclusively.
I had a proud parenting moment this week! My two year old daughter is a bit on the spoiled side. I admit it – she’s the 3rd child and has two older brothers – how else would it be?
I walked in the door from work and she came running up with her pink soccer ball. She was crying because there was dirt on it and she’s not a fan of dirt. Instead of sending her on her way or cleaning it up for her, I decided it was time for a life lesson. I see adults bypass problem-solving all day. They whine about things happening to them or complain that someone else needs to do something as they aren’t willing. I am lucky to work with some great problem-solvers but not nearly enough as I tend to think that problem-solving is a basic skill most employees should have.
Consider this my gift to the next generation of workers – I took my daughter to the kitchen. I asked her what to use to clean the ball. She picked a paper towel. I moistened it and then handed it to her. She looked at me with big blue eyes and said “what’s this?” “It’s time for you to solve your own problem”, I told her. She looked at the nickel-size smudge of dirt and proudly wiped it away. With a big smile on her face, she tried to hand me the paper towel. I gently shook my head. She asked “now what?” I asked her what she thought came next. She toddled to the trashcan and pointed. After a nod, she lifted the lid and proudly cleaned up her own mess.
I know business problems are not as easily solved but I believe that if we stop and think about the problem at hand instead of jumping to solution, engage the smart people we work with, and break down the situation one piece at a time, we can make solutions a little easier to implement and prevent complaining about a problem that continues to plague us.
When gathering business requirements, stakeholders are often eager to get to the details. In this post, I discuss some thoughts on why this may cause more harm than good.