Eliminate the Problem Before It Occurs
No problem should “happen” a second time.
Do not waste time and words by trying to diagnose a problem.
The best definition of a problem is the solution that obviates the problem. (“Obviates” here means: doing away with the source of it – forever.)
Your job is not to sit around and talk about problems. It is to eliminate them…at their source.
The best time to eliminate a problem is before it occurs. This is related to the old adage that the best time to fire someone is before you hire them. You eliminate the problem before it occurs.
Compose your organization to anticipate problems before they occur. Competent people anticipate them and prepare for those that happen to slip through.
The antidote to onerous problems is competence in every role.
Design potential problems out. Be astonished if they arise. But welcome them. They are your friends if you know how to preclude them – or if you know how to learn from them if they do occur.
They are not there for you merely to “solve” them. They are there for you to learn how to preclude them before they arise.
Ask questions. Almost all will originate in some shortfall in competence somewhere in your organization.
As a reminder: Most people prefer a problem they can’t solve to a solution they don’t like. That includes you.
And that’s why problems recur. Solve that problem at its source.
Most organizations and most people spend too much time talking about problems. A good solution speaks for itself.
-Lee Thayer, Thought-Leader