Tuesday, January 29, 2013

How Many Root Causes

How many root causes does your problem have?

Much of our time as problem solvers is spent on finding the root cause. Where does our problem originate? What is the source of our trouble?

Could that be a bit of a myth? Is it possible that one root cause has created the situation we now see as a problem? 

Probably not. It is more likely a combination of connections.

There are probably many sources of the problem. There are probably many contributing factors. Sure, there may be one origination point -- but by the time the problem has come to your attention there are connections in places you haven't even looked yet. Think of some of your gnarly problems:

- teams that have trouble communicating
- leaders who treat people unfairly
- customers who dominate your time unprofitably
- supplies that run out when you need them the most
- an inaccurate or impossible to measure inventory
- meetings that seem to last forever and go nowhere
- products that sell without making margin
- poor morale
- attendance issues 
Problems with only one root cause only exist in our imagination.

Solving that one perceived cause is a great start -- but are you looking for other factors, too?

-- Douglas Brent Smith

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Closer to Perfection

How does it feel when you solve a problem?

Do you get a great sense of satisfaction? Does it build your confidence?

Whether or not you notice it, each time that you solve a problem your skills grow, your confidence fills, your ability to solve other problems improves. You grow.

Each problem that we solve brings us closer to perfection.



Doesn't that make you eager to solve the next problem?

--  Doug Smith


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

DO Something


Have you got dreams? Big hopes for what your perfect life would look like?

That's great. Build on those dreams. Nurture those dreams.

Hold onto your dreams -- but for goodness sakes, DO something about them.


Get off of the balcony and down into the action. Make your goals matter -- set them into motion.

Get busy today.

-- Douglas Brent Smith

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Value and Risk of Emotion

Have you ever been so angry that it forced you to do something about the situation?

There's tremendous energy in emotion. It can force us into doing something positive and definitive. Or, it can create an urgency that leads to problems.

The key is keeping control. The power is in staying centered and strong. The opportunity is in maintaining your compassion as well as your courage, your clarity as well as your creativity.

Once your emotion propels you into action, can you safely let it go?

If you can, it will avoid much trouble. If you can't, trouble will catch you.

-- Douglas Brent Smith