Martes, Agosto 23, 2011

Dealing with challenges more creatively by Jolito Ortizo Padilla

The complexity of supply chains can present frequent problems, and the impact of these can be serious if they remain unresolved. We can significantly help our career progression by developing range of approaches to problem solving and honing them through practice.

First, we need to consider the words we use. "Problems" are things such as the car not starting when we are late for work. They arose negative emotions -anxiety, fear, trepidation, and pessimism. Problems at work must be viewed as "challenges". These carry more positive responses such as excitement, can do, will do, optimism and openness.

Second, when confronting a challenge be aware of your own assumptions. Must there be a complex resolution for a complicated problem? Does the challenge require an immediate fix or can we find time for more comprehensive resolution?

Be specific. Challenges arise in all shapes and sizes, so define exactly what it is. The more specific we can, the more focused our approach. A supplier failure due to specific machine breakdown is less so as it immediately focuses our attention on the most critical element requiring attention.

Perhaps the challenges is a complex set of circumstances. In this case we need to approach by breaking it down into its constituent elements. By doing this we will be able to better define the resources and timescales required to tackle each part.

The ' five whys' is a powerful approach. Simply asking "why?" five times invariably gets to the root cause. For example: Why was there a supplier problem? The "XYZ"machine broke down. Why did it break down? It hadn't been maintained . Continue to ask and get answer until you reach a root cause.

Brainstorming has a few but effective rules. Wherever possible include everyone involved or affected by the challenge. Define the challenge, then ask them to propose a resolution. It is essential all ideas (however odd they may seem) are recorded, unchallenged and that interruptions are minimized. When this process is exhausted , group the similar ideas together and work together on evaluating each proposal, then prioritize action.

Individuals and teams can use the next approach when confronting specific challenges. Wherever you are addressing the particular problem, consciously stop and step back from it. Think about the objective-what's the "end game"? What do you really want to achieve? Organize your thoughts -how well does your current direction reconcile with where you want to end up? Is there a better way of doing it? What additional internal and external resources do you need to help support you? Proceed -having found some space now get on with it but always keep in mind the outcome you want to achieve and how great it will be when you completed it.

The ability to resolve challenges is essential for your career. Enjoy it and learn from experience as I enjoy what I have experienced before.


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