We’ve all been there.
In meetings dominated by the egos, the snappy dressers, the busy people. Bringing attention to themselves, despite the fact they are not the people who are important to address the real issue. They define the problem in terms of their own capabilities whilst the shy people, the introverts who can actually do something about it are suppressed.
I think that problems do the same.
There the big, noisy problems that stride importantly into the room. They have status, and everybody knows them.
Sales. Cash Flow. Productivity. Absence.
We defer to them, and serve them with the responses we’ve learned. Best Practice.
That mollifies them for a while, but only a while. The challenge we face is that, like a Myers Briggs characterisation, they are not all the same. Just as we come in more than 16 varieties, so do problems. They are individual and if not treated as such, and paid proper attention to, they will mutuate and return.
Extrovert problems are like bullies. They do not need to be mollified, they need to be confronted, properly.
Then there are the introverted problems. They don’t like to be flash, and expect to be ignored. They would much rather you pay attention to to the extroverts.
Toxic Cultures. Shallow Relationships. Margin erosion. Discounting. Obsolesence.
All are there, eating away at the business while we pay attention to the extroverts. Difficult, requiring challenging conversations, not templates. Easy to ignore whilst we do something more noticeable with the noisy ones.
Introverted problems are like psychopaths. They are good at playing the game, and promising to reform. They don’t of course. They need treating with a combination of care and determination.
Solutions as Aspirin
The challenge we face when we’re busy is that we go into “solution mode” with problems, like taking aspirin for a headache.
Solves it short term, but doesn’t touch the root cause.
We need curiosity. To look at the problem for what it is, and to notice all the players, the introverts as well as the extroverts.
Conversations as Cures
Great conversations are open – open minded and open hearted. Not afraid of the bullies and aware of the psychopaths. Conversations identify the real culprits, not just the usual suspects.
Conversations look at the whole picture, not just the presenting problem. They are holistic.
They are difficult. Sacred cows hate them, so do the elephants in the room.
They don’t need consultants, they need courage.
If you want to have a look at how we’re exploring the idea of consultant free conversations at Originize, we have an open house this Friday, 24th July at 4:30pm.