4 Ways to Turn Problems into Opportunities
A team struggled with people leaving before the end of organizational meetings. You could simply tell people not to leave.
I asked, “How do you want people to feel at the end of the meeting?”
I based my question on Daniel Kahneman’s book, Thinking, Fast and Slow. Kahneman explains that people remember peaks and ends.
You can’t control someone’s peak experience, but you can control what happens at the end.
The team decided they wanted everyone to walk out with a smile on their face.
Define goals in specific language. “We succeed when people smile at the end of the meeting.”
The question becomes, “What will you do to put a smile on people’s faces at the end of your meeting?”
4 ways to turn problems into opportunities:
#1. Tap into creativity.
There’s nothing creative about telling people what to do. But creativity takes patience and courage.
Creativity requires you to get comfortable NOT knowing.
A quick solution is the end of creativity and the beginning of self-justification.
#2. Seek elegance.
There’s nothing elegant about telling people what to do.
#3. Develop an opportunity.
Anyone can solve a problem.
Turning problems into opportunities is leadership.
#4. Answer the big question, “What do we really want?”
Connect to higher purpose, not simply a quick solution.
Problem-solvers want something to go away.
Solution-seekers create something new.
The team decided to involve children at the end of the meeting. The result: everyone smiled.
Blame or responsibility:
Telling reluctant people what to do is embedded with blame. Creating an experience that causes a smile is responsibility.
Blame causes anger and exempts from responsibility.
Responsibility creates challenge and prevents finger-pointing.
If you reject the responsibilities of leadership, please get out. All you are is a black sucking hole dragging organizations down.
How might leaders turn problems into opportunities?
Creative Problem Solving (Mind Tools)
The Basics of Creative Problem Solving (Innovation Management)
15 Best Creativity Tips (Leadership Freak)
Happy New Year!
Re-frame the problem.
The problem is our turnover is 35%.
Our opportunity is to create a “great culture” where no one wants to leave! What can we do to make the work exciting, meaningful, and growth-oriented? What type of peak moments can we build into everyday activities.
Nailed it Paul! We just have to get past complaining and blaming so we can take responsibility.
I’m such a stickler with terms so start turning the term “problem” into challenge because it is so much more positive whether one succeeds in the challenge or not. People will start saying and thinking “I’m working another challenge” not “oh no another problem”. Try it and you will see a difference in attitude in meetings and work efforts. Everything we do in life is a challenge of some sort not a problem.
Thanks Roger. The power of words/language should be appreciated by leaders.
Accepting the situation, how big or small it may be, neglecting it may create other problems. Leaders should not blame the failure or problems other than them; acceptance is the key to form a new opportunity. Clear thinking and adapt it patiently, focus on the factors that affected and accept it. If it is possible to solve the problem, then solve it, but if it’s not possible; then, try to resolve it by transforming it into fresh opportunities or paths. Leadership always comes up with the assigned problems. It’s the way that the leader looks into it. A leader cannot control everything; challenges and problems are going to be there. Challenges give out the best possibilities to be out of the comfort zones and tackle the problems and turn the issues into the best outcomes. That’s where you learn the most as a leader, enhancing your skills and putting all the efforts to turn into the opportunity. Also, concentrating on the problems, listen, and try to understand the point of view of the teammates or others, learning from your mistakes allows you to change and grow. The worst situation may give them time to think, to work on the weak points in your direction, which opens up the new learning opportunity rather than the failure.