What's the problem?

Photo by  Marek Okon  on  Unsplash

Photo by Marek Okon on Unsplash

“The secret is to find the important problems and focus on those,” explained Monique Savoie, founding president of the Society for Arts & Technology (SAT) in Montreal, which some call the MIT of Canada (although it is so much more), and a visionary on the interdisciplinary challenges of bridging science, art and technology.

Monique was responding to a Fortune 100 executive’s question about how to better prioritize resources and talent, cultivate more creative, flexible organizational cultures, and attract and keep talent.

While the response may seem simplistic, it is not. Great solutions result from of getting the problem right, and then focusing work on solving that problem. Acting like scientists in challenging our assumptions and then developing and researching hypotheses with the people who might benefit from a new approach.

Solving the right problems, the most important problems, also motivates team members. It is “employee engagement” at its best. Almost all of us want to be working on something that matters.

“What is the most important problem for us to take on?” may be one of the most helpful questions to consider in this annual planning season.

Another wise leader, Meg Wheatley, also urges us to more clearly see what needs to be done and then doing it.

Are You an Optimist or a Pessimist?

Some people want to put us into a category.
Some people only feel good when they know where they fit.

Are you an optimist?
A pessimist?

Really, there’s only one right answer. You have to be an optimist.
Otherwise you’re a drag. No fun to be around. Dr. Death.
And a new term, you’re from the “Doomsphere.”

In the past, we were taught to note our worldview by looking at a glass of water.
Is the glass half empty? Is it half full?

Your answer defines your identity: Gloom and doom or hopeful and great to hang
out with.

What a nonsensical question this is. Is the glass half full or half empty?
Who cares?!

The right question for Warriors is:
Who needs the water and how can we get it to them?
What is the work that needs doing and how can I contribute to making it
happen?

No labels. Just seeing clearly what needs to be done and stepping up to do it.

Margaret Wheatley ©2019