Efforts to make things better are persistently blocked by a bottleneck. Now what?
Pour out your good stuff, even when disappointed with others.
- Forget the big pictures.
- Resist what might be.
- Use policy and procedure to control. “This is the way we do things around here.”
- Don’t listen.
- Hoard information.
Follow the good in your heart.
10 ways to deal with hardened bottlenecks:
- Accept their power. One person has the power to hinder an entire organization.
- Listen for the language of frustration, if your bottleneck keeps choking you. You’ll throw up your hands and ask:
- Bottlenecks should care, but don’t. Why don’t they care?
- Higher-ups should do something, but don’t. Why don’t they do something?
- Mediocrity prevails, when things could be better. Why can’t we change things?
- Stay positive. Breaking a bottleneck is frustrating. Frustration tells you what you don’t want. Focus on what you want.
- Don’t expect higher-ups to intervene if your bottleneck has been around for a long time.
- Don’t expect hardened bottlenecks to radically change. Get on their team as much as possible.
- Clarify the “good” you desire. Is it really good for your organization and customers or are you being selfish? What will be better, if you push through?
- Inform yourself. Perhaps you’ve missed something.
- Go around, if the direct approach hasn’t worked. Take small actions without them. Be prepared for confrontation. Hardened bottlenecks don’t like being stretched.
- Stay humble and open, especially when your bottleneck has position and authority. Remember, you could be wrong.
- If confronted, kindly tell the whole truth. If you are punished for working to make things better, so be it.
One person can make things worse – one person can make them better.
What does kindness and courage look like when dealing with bottlenecks?
What warnings or suggestions might you offer someone who is dealing with a bottleneck on their team?