When you dissect a problem into bits, it becomes easy to solve

By: DAVID MUTURI

WE all take hard knocks occasionally. It is unrealistic to expect a smooth sailing in life without sustaining such heavy body blows, unless you are not making progress. In business and in organisations such hard hits come in different forms, shapes and even times.

Quite often, they seem insurmountable.

I have learnt that the knocks are not as important as how you react to them, how you plan your reconstruction, how well you thicken your skin and protect your sanity.

For in the absence of these you may as well become an extension of the problem.

Top of the list is a clinical dissection of what ails you; precise identification of the problem and breaking it down into the components, for ease of identifying possible solutions.

It is unnecessarily scary to confront the problem as one, for it will seem insurmountable.

PROBLEM-SOLVING SKILLS

When you break it down into bits it becomes easier to share amongst more people with different capabilities and get them to contribute, each in their small way to solve it.

Organisational and business challenges are not to be confronted by ego-driven approach.

They will only turn worse.

Even where egos may be deflated, it helps more to keep them aside to be inflated in future rather than during the turbulence.

Remember, it is not a sign of weakness to ask for help.

If things are not going the way they should, clearly there is a problem.

ROLE OF HONEST FEEDBACK

It helps to ask a friend or valued colleague for some honest feedback and assistance.

The feedback could be brutal, particularly when it introduces a whole new perspective that you had not seen.

However, this could be the much needed angle to set things right.

These are times to look for ways to improve, it is a critical time to ask yourselves whether you could do what you are doing more effectively and efficiently.

You may have been working too hard rather than smart.

It is a good time to examine your areas of known weaknesses and identify what you need to do to eliminate them.

This is the time to get up and fight, you cannot afford not to.

Such times call for patience. It is not unusual to frantically search for a magic bullet.

CORPORATE STORIES

Yet they do not exist — may be in the fairy tales.

The most colourful corporate stories you ever heard only told one side of the story.

When challenged do not over romanticise them; the best you can do is to hope for a similar happy ending.

Reconstruct one stone at a time. Giving yourself ample time to heal, you will finally get there.

Times change so should your strategy and plans.

Change with the times to make sure you have an upper hand over the competition.

Great challenges are known to have been solved by just transparent communication.

Truthful open minded communication is a great leadership tool.

You could do everything else right, but in the absence of effective transparent and open minded communication the problem could remain unresolved in the minds of the key stakeholders.

Open mindedness demonstrates your readiness to accommodate other views and ideas, including accepting that you could be wrong.

In leadership and management therefore, one important skill to cultivate is the ability to quickly identify a problem, break it down to manageable bits then build the resilience to deal with issues.