Monday, March 6, 2017

Responding to problems

"Problems" are everywhere
Things could always be better. The world is not always how we would like it to be. It could be fairer, more efficient, more effective, cheaper, nicer, easier, more ethical...

Sometimes problems come and go like the weather. They may dissipate of their own accord. Or they may grow bigger and more serious and need to be addressed in three ways
  • Contain the problematic situation
  • Repair any harm done 
  • Reduce the likelihood of the problem recurring
The challenges of responding
Quite often we need to work with others to solve problems, and this brings its own challenges. How others see the problem and what level of response they are trying to contribute can make a big difference. Consider the following

The "Ostrich"
  • Unaware of the problem
  • Deny the existence of the problem
  • Hope it is someone's problem
  • Hope someone else will fix it
The "Expert"
  • Describe the problem with examples and anecdotes
  • Guess the causes and solutions
"Ain't it Awful"
  • Complain, Blame and Protest
  • Demand the problem be fixed 
  • Demand a particular "fix" -  can make things worse
"Bob the Builder"    
  • Understand how the system works to create the problem
  • Work with others to ("fix")  improve the system
Check it out
  1. Think of problem that is significant to you
  2. What is your current level of response?
  3. What difference will your response make?
  4. How does this compare this with the responses of others involved?

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