At the risk of sounding like I am stuck in “endless replay” mode, every day is a reminder of something we have said for years when writing about HR – “there are no simple answers.”
And so, my admonition is to stop looking for simple answers. Look instead for real-truths and root causes to problems. Spend energy and time clearly defining what the problem is and what solution will make the most positive difference for the broadest affected group. Learn to be open to new ideas and allow your principles and beliefs to be challenged as you invite others to share theirs.
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Pull together diverse team members when searching for new answers, and understand that a strong element of trust must permeate all of your interactions if you are to succeed. Establishing trust is a leadership responsibility and that trust must be earned through actions as we have mentioned in articles before. All successful leaders learn how to build trust and understand its importance to operational and financial performance.
It is my experience however, that few groups ever reach this level of performance and problem solving because of the lack of importance placed on building trust. As a result, effective solutions are not discovered, difficult problems persist and the pursuit of easy answers continues. Game over — back to business as usual.
Sound familiar? Too familiar, when you look around today.
Trust is a hard-economic driver
A recent Harvard Business Review leadership article entitled The Connection Between Employee Trust and Financial Performance, co-authored by Stephen Covey and Douglas Conant, specifically points out that “trust is not a soft, social virtue but a truly hard, economic driver for every organization.” It is only through trust that effective leaders can lead with the engagement and support of everyone in the organization, and benefit from diverse ideas that produce robust outcomes.
When problem solving with trust and inclusion, everyone has a role and all ideas must be considered. One idea not heard may be just the one that keeps you from succeeding. Past experiences also are important, which means learning from both successes and failures.
History may hold the secrets
Learning from past experiences drives home the importance of also being a good student of history. Rediscovering answers from times past can inform and inspire new solutions today, help avert poor decisions or highlight what to anticipate when actions are taken.
Technological change has been taking place for hundreds of years and most human issues endemic to work have surfaced before in some form. Learning how they were handled then, regardless of the result, could be invaluable when developing answers to problems today.
Get to the right answers sooner
As with managing change, improving how we solve problems by analyzing and understanding them better and including more diverse groups in designing answers, is critical. Businesses that do this solve complex problems more easily and find right answers sooner.
We have been partnering with companies and HR leaders in the greater Bay Area for more than 26 years and during that time have established our own history helping solve HR staffing, HR search and HR consulting problems.
Contact us now if you need to contract or hire HR staff, need HR consulting, or want to discuss your HR career options. It all starts with a conversation and we look forward to it.