Reject Fast Solutions – Solve Problems Slowly

Reject first solutions unless the barn is on fire.

 

be quick but don't hurry

Fast-solution leaders:

#1. Choose done over working on creative solutions.

Choosing the fast solution restores the status quo.

Creativity is the ability to reject first answers and endure the awkwardness of ignorance.

Rise above, “Just get it done.” Embrace the frustration caused by pursuing creative solutions.

#2. Complain that people don’t think for themselves.

Leaders who solve problems FOR people end up doing all the thinking.

#3. Have low ownership teams.

Make room for teams to own their problems.

“When a team takes ownership of its problems, the problem gets solved.” Jocko Willink

#4. Slow progress.

Everyone learns to wait for your solution when you’re the solution-giving leader.

“A lot of people never use their initiative because no-one told them to.” Bansky

Teach your team to beg forgiveness, rather than ask permission by:

  1. Embedding organizational values in everyone’s head and heart.
  2. Honoring responsible failure.
  3. Taking responsibility when higher ups complain.
  4. Discussing and establishing boundaries to freedom.
  5. Ask, “What would you do?” And say, “Go do that.” (Unless it will cause damage.)

The more problems you solve, the more frequently people come to you for solutions.

Before you become a leader, solve every problem YOU can. After you become a leader, help others solve every problem THEY can.

4 ways to solve problems slowly:

  1. Enter conversations as a curious learner, not a closed knower.
  2. Realize the pain point might be a symptom, not the problem.
  3. Explore origins. When did this problem begin? What have we been doing or not doing that brought us to this situation?
  4. Develop three possible solutions before making decisions. “And what else might we try?”

“Be quick but don’t hurry.” John Wooden

What benefits might result from solving problems slowly?