Talking with a colleague the other day, he shared that he was tired of trying to solve business problems he was having on his own. He felt he needed to expand his options for solutions and likely, if he did so, would come up with even better solutions to the problems he was trying to resolve. He recently began taking the following approach when he had a business problem to be solved.
First, he has a circle of peers that he regularly shares best practices, processes and information with on a regular basis. This group of 8 has gotten together to support each other’s efforts in achieving the goals of their departments and the organization as a whole.
To solve business problems that arise, getting as much input as possible from a variety of individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences, skills and perspectives, he takes the following approach:
- He writes the problem out on a sheet of paper (this could also be done via email but he chooses to pass around a sheet to peers)
- He sends the sheet of paper to each of his peers. Here is how it works:
- The first peer reads the problem statement on the sheet and writes down his ideas on how the problem may be approached. He then passes the sheet on to the next peer in their circle.
- The second peers reads the problem statement as well as the ideas and thoughts of the person who responded prior to him/her. (S)he passes the sheet on to the next person on the list. And so on and so on until each of the peers in the circle have added their thoughts.
- The sheet is then passed back to the owner – the individual with the problem to be solved. He uses that information to develop a solution to the problem, relying on the expertise, backgrounds, ideas and thoughts of his peers to develop a solution that he may not otherwise have been able to come to on his own.
This approach has enabled my colleague to develop better and more innovative solutions to problems as well as quicker solutions to problems.
What’s your approach to solving business problems with which you are faced?