How to Problem Solve as a Business Manager
Everyone has problems. There is only one thing to do; fix it! Problem-solving isn’t about fixing the issue at hand. It’s about finding a solution that one applies to other situations in the future. It’s about breaking down the problem for an employee and empowering them to find a solution. Problem-solving requires a specific type of thinking. It is not something that comes to every person, regardless of their background. Here are some things one should learn about problem-solving as a business manager.
Define the Problem
It’s easy to run around like chickens with their heads cut off when confronted by a problem. But, this is not the best approach. Instead, one should sit down and list all the things that could go wrong. Entrepreneur Alexander Djerassi encourages writing it all down, so one doesn’t forget anything. This is where one outlines the “costs” of the problem. Then, they decide how much risk they’re willing to take to solve it. For example, if a company is on the verge of bankruptcy, it might be worth taking some risk to fix the problem. The manager has to take risks that won’t make another costly mistake. If it wouldn’t be worth the risk, the manager should consider letting the problem go. This should be until it won’t cost so much money or put the company into such a precarious position next time.
Transparent communication is vital. A business manager must tell employees, customers, and suppliers what they do and why. If they don’t understand what’s going on, they’ll ask questions or complain. Unhappy customers are a significant source of stress for any business. The crucial part of transparent communication is explaining it to the people affected. In most cases, business managers feel guilty thinking they’re not doing enough. It becomes an enjoyable job if one is comfortable and has good communication skills.
Solid Foundational Strategy
A solid foundational strategy provides a solid business framework for a business. It can vary from a single product or service to everything a business does. It’s essential to have a basic architecture around a business to focus on matters. It’s easy to get lost in the weeds of all the little details. Thus, if managers don’t have a clear vision of how things work, they won’t figure out what works and what doesn’t. Alexander Djerassi suggests that a manager’s job is to define business fundamentals. A solid foundational strategy can help solve problems and impact the business.
This may seem like an obvious rule, but it is one of the hardest things for many people to do in practice. When approaching a problem, a business manager shouldn’t assume that they know what the issue is. Also, they shouldn’t let their biases and preconceived notions cloud their judgment. Listening to all the employees can help find the best solution.
If one wants to be an effective manager, one will have to learn how to problem-solve. This process is the foundation of management. Also, it is a skill that can help one succeed in many aspects of life. The suggestions and tips above should help and guide one through the process.