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Prelude To Discussion: Question For You (And Now Discussion)
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Author:  formermarcher [ Tue Apr 28, 2009 10:19 am ]
Post subject:  Prelude To Discussion: Question For You (And Now Discussion)

Here's a forum poll for everyone. If you've ever heard Nopsbs speak, or know someone who has heard him speak, then you've seen this question.

How much of the time should you spend identifying a problem, and how much of the time should you spend fixing the problem?

Cast your vote, and then post here with what you said and why!

Author:  formermarcher [ Wed Apr 29, 2009 4:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Prelude To Discussion: Question For You!

Lets try ro get some responses here. I know it may be difficult to voice one's opinions, especially about leadership. There is always a fear that you might be wrong. I can assure you, there are no wrong answers. And even if there were, take solace in the fact that you actually had the gusto to share your thoughts. Only through a sharing of ideas and a new level of understand be reached. If we all agreed 100% of the time, it'd be fairly boring.

Granted this may be a fairly tough think to explain why you chose 25% identification over 50%

I'll close the poll up on Friday.

Author:  formermarcher [ Sun May 03, 2009 9:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Prelude To Discussion: Question For You!

We had 10 votes, and the consensus is that as leaders we should spend 50% of the time identifying the problem, and 50% solving it.

The whole premise here is that if you have an issue or a problem that needs resolved, naturally you would want to resolve it as fast as you can. But you also want to make sure there is an actual problem that needs resolved! This is a mistake that many people, student and adult alike, tend to make. Something will seem to be creating an issue and then they will jump right into the fray without understanding what the problem is about, or if they're even sure there is a problem to handle. So if anything...remember to make sure that before you go to solve an issue that you understand as much as you can about that problem!

The question now becomes whats the ideal ratio to identification to solving? Lets put some numbers into this.

Lets say your at a meeting of leaders that lasts an hour, and you have only that hour (60 mins) to solve the problem before the next rehersal. In theory, you would want to work on a solution for as much time as you can, because only through solving the problem is the problem handled. It is much more important to get the issue resolved quickly so you can move on. Your priority should always be spending time resolving an issue! But as we mentioned earlier, you don't want to step blindly into the problem without first understanding it.

So if you spent half the time identifying the problem, you've spent 30 mins of your time figuring out what was going wrong, leaving you with only 30 mins to come up with a solution that works. Thats alot of time spent to figuring out what the issue is! If you use 75% of the time to solve it, you've spent 15 mins identifying and 45 mins solving. Clearly you've put more time into solving the problem, which is a great thing. If you are spending 45 mins out of 60 working to a solution, then you're doing a great job!

But lets ask long does it really take to identify a problem? Chances are that no matter how complex the problem may seem, there is an easy explanation. Effective leaders can tell what the heart of the problem is, and they can do it very quickly. This is not to say that if you have trouble identifying a problem that you are not an effective leader; thats not true at all. But the best leaders can figure out whats really the heart of the problem. And they can do it fairly quickly. So quickly, in fact, that they only need to spend 10% of the time figuring out whats up! In an hour block, they only need 6 mins to fully understand whats going on, leaving them 54 mins to come up with a good and strong solution.

So the ideal ratio is 10% identifying, 90% solving. But if you are at 25% identifying and 75% solving, you're still doing a great job! In fact, even if you are at 50/50, you're still going a good job because at least you are putting thought towards the problem!

Its easy to spend too much time identifying a problem, because its much easier saying that there is a problem than it is solving a problem. Most people are content to say there is a problem without offering any constructive to resolve the problem. Why is that? Because solving problems is hard! If it were a walk in the park, we'd all be issue free but we all know that is far from reality.

Feel free to comment, agree/disagree, add your thoughts, challenge some points, etc. As long as we are all respectful to each other then we should be able to talk about anything you want to bring up.

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