The #1 thing when solving a Headscratcher is
your unwavering belief that a satisfactory solution exists, that is, “There
is always a way”.
Example Headscratcher: “Reduce the cost of customer care by 25%
while increasing customer satisfaction”.
In this example we’ll touch on the Headscratcher element of
“Association”. However first back to
the #1 thing!
Approach: Start with the assumption that there IS a
satisfactory solution, even though you don’t know what it is, or how you
would get there. However, you and your
team WILL figure it out. The solution
IS out there, and there is a way to make it happen.
Beware of filled buckets!:
Recall the enthusiasm of a new
employee to tackle the toughest problems and an optimism of “we’ll figure it
out”. Over time however, most people
pick up “baggage”, with experiences that include false starts, un-accomplished
goals, and barriers, subsequently jeopardizing their confidence, conviction,
and drive. Optimism has digressed to
skepticism. Their “bucket” for
tolerance, willingness to forge ahead against the wind, and lead in the face
of the unknown and difficultly, is “filled up” … and there is no room in a
filled bucket for innovation.
Give the Speech: Ask
people to empty their buckets. Remind
them of their first days at the company when they had the energy and optimism
for accomplishing new things. Lead
with the assumption that “a solution exists, we can find it, and we will
implement it”, THERE IS ALWAYS A WAY!
Hint: Give yourself the speech first … your bucket must be empty in
order to inspire others to empty theirs.
Once buckets are empty, and belief in some future yet unknown solution
exists, you and your team can be open to innovation and at
“Associations”. In the above example,
this is the relationship between reducing cost and increasing customer
satisfaction. Look for common elements
between “cost” and “customer satisfaction”.
One such example is the “ease of getting an answer”. This “association” can lead to a lot of
good headscratching around automation, which is just one of several
The Takeaway: Innovative
solutions to Headscratchers require open minds, empty buckets and a tenacious
belief that a satisfactory solution exists. The environment during
headscratching may be filled with ambiguity, uncertainty, unknowns, and
sometimes risk, as opposed to an immediate clear and certain path. Therefore it is critical that the driving
force behind you and your team is the confidence and conviction that “There
Is Always A Way.”
Headscratchers, LLC advises and partners with senior
executives to create solutions for their Headscratchers, specializing in
Product, Service and Operational business challenges. The Headscratching process involves using
the cognitive skills that people already possess combined in a special way
using components such as logic, invention and leadership.
The Next edition will cover the elements necessary
and sufficient for “Invention”.
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