Just do a quick search on how to solve a problem, and you’ll find several similar lists of steps. Understand the problem, make a plan, implement the plan, and evaluate the results, is the typical process, with maybe a few other intermediary steps in the middle. The critical issue I take with this process is that there is no Step 0. Before anything can be solved, someone has to make the conscientious decision to fix it. In other words, if you don’t want to address the problem, no amount of technology, human resources, or guidance is going to change it. Save your money.
So let’s start with Step 0: Do you really want to solve the problem? A lot of alcoholics will freely admit they have trouble with the sauce. Yet some of them have to ride a moped to the bar because they lost their license. They knew they had a problem with alcohol when their spouse left them, and but in the end, they didn’t want to fix it enough. I guess they might as well have another one.
I don’t do this very often, but I’d like to actually stand-up for other vendors, trainers, and consultants. There are quite a few folks out there who truly have good intentions, and have the time, tools, and talent to fix problems. The good-guys (and gals) are not satisfied with OK, despite the fact that their clients are. Although things may have started with best-intentions, within a matter of weeks, the new services and training are put out to pasture. The client had no real desire to fix the problem.
Sometimes, who am I kidding, much of the time, it’s a few bad apples that spoil the bunch. There are a lot of “That-Guys” and “Chiefs” out there that sabotage things from the get-go. These are the people that start belly-aching the minute there is talk of something that can change their cushy lifestyle. The only time they like the Internet is when it’s time to wave the pitchforks and torches on the forums. They provide no extra effort to utilize their new tools and teachings. They actually TRY to NOT fix the problem. They make a conscious effort to be no better than OK. Even at the 20 Group level, good companies can get thrown under the bus by people who never did what was asked of them by said companies. A third-party can fix a lot of things. However, they don’t have the green light to pitch the bad apples. Their clients CAN, but they don’t. Back to Step 0.
Do yourself a favor. Before you embark on solving a business problem, make sure those affected want to fix it. Don’t make the assumption that everyone will do what it takes to be the best. Some folks are OK with just being OK. No amount of Carnegie, Robbins, or Gitomer training is going to change that. Don’t define a problem that no one wants to solve.