23 Apr Want to solve problems faster? Think Positive!
In his book ‘Shoe Dog’, NIKE founder, Phil Knight observed that, “When you only see problems, you’re not seeing clearly”.
I love this thinking. It doesn’t say you shouldn’t see the problems – just don’t let your mind obsess on them. Better instead to focus on looking for a solution.
The power of positivity
Great Project Management requires great problem solvers and positivity. Attacking a problem with a positive mindset creates the best solutions. It’s a creativity-based approach that encourages us to think beyond the obvious. If we look at a problem and quickly decide the current solution is best, we close off our thinking. Far better to adopt a positive, ‘possibility’ approach. ‘That would work, but let’s keep thinking to see if we can do better’. By challenging ourselves to come up with multiple solutions, chances are we’ll get to a better place – typically involving savings in terms of time, resources of money.
Chunking down helps
Sometimes development problems are too large or complex to solve quickly. When we experience this, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and correspondingly difficult to adopt that vital ‘can-do’ mindset. The best approach is to break the project down into ‘bite-size’ chunks. ‘What part of the problem can you solve’? Start there.
It’s like tackling a giant jigsaw. Start with the corners and straight edges and work your way forward. As human beings, we are highly motivated by a sense of progression – that we are moving forwards. This is why we get a buzz from completing a task like finishing a project or mowing the lawn. (It’s also the principle behind gamification and why it’s easy to spend too much time playing in online worlds with their points, levels and rewards!).
Using the chunking down approach creates a sense of progression in our project problem solving. That helps us to keep a positive and creative mindset along the way. Ultimately, it enables us to arrive at the best overall solution by creating a series of mini-problems that we have solved along the way.
Invest in becoming a better problem-solver
The Development Industry presents problems every day. It makes sense to think about how we can improve our problem-solving capability and to make sure we stay open-minded to learning new approaches. This not only makes us better operators, but, importantly, also makes the work process more enjoyable.
At Orion Consulting, we partner with clients and suppliers to overcome challenges and solve problems. By adopting a positive approach to doing so, we believe that we are able to arrive at solutions that are elegant, practical and cost-effective. We also like to think that this makes working with us a positive experience.
In today’s market it’s important to stay positive. At Orion Consulting, we like to think we are doing just that, growing and looking to find the solutions you need.
James Green, Manager – Projects, Orion Consulting