Can you solve this problem?

Can you solve this problem?

Ahh! You like a challenge!

Here’s the problem: To make life better, can you change your mindset and focus on something other than solving problems?

Solving problems may give us improved outcomes – but not as good as we think. And certainly not the BEST outcomes. The best outcomes come from focusing on something else.

Ostensibly we solve a problem because we want to eliminate the gap between a current reality and our expectation. We want things to work better.

A less obvious reason but possibly a more powerful one is that we like solving problems – especially other people’s – because it positively feeds our identity. We’re good at it and it makes us feel important and needed.

I’ll briefly introduce you to a process to use in your organisation for getting better results than solving problems.

If you are responsible for other people – leader, owner, manager, supervisor or coach – this will be of interest.

Carl Jung said, “Problems are rarely solved on their own. They are outgrown, as a newer, stronger interest comes along to crowd out the problem. When a newer or stronger urge or life-force appears on the horizon, people adjust to grow towards it, much like a plant grows towards light.”

We get what we focus on in life. Focus on problems and we get problems. Focusing on problems in an organisation also tends to precipitate blame, excuses, defensiveness, negativity and demotivation amongst team members.

As Jung alludes to, focusing on success and what’s going well tends to breed more of the same. This principle has manifested into a Business Improvement Technique called Appreciative Inquiry. In essence, finding and focusing on “the root cause of success”, understanding why its working and doing more of the same to deliver better results. Problems are naturally reduced or eliminated as the good stuff grows.

I can promise you at least 10 benefits:
1. Better, more positive outcomes and as a consequence, improved financial results.
2. More interested and engaged team members.
3. More spontaneous creativity from your team.
4. Greater confidence and motivation amongst your team.
5. Self-initiated improvements from your team.
6. Faster progress and change.
7. Change is seen in a positive light.
8. Less work for you.
9. More enjoyment for you.
10. The psychological rewards are great too.
Here are the 5 steps to the process:
• Choose the area that you want to focus on.
• Discover what is already working well in that area.
• Paint a picture of the better outcome that everyone wants.
• Turn that picture into a well-defined ideal outcome.
• Create a plan or roadmap of how you (the team) will move from the current situation to the defined ideal situation.
The steps are simple. Execution is a little harder. The first step is a mental one. Even if things are good, accept that there may be a better way of doing things. If you’ve got this far there’s a couple of options to find out more:
1. Go online and read a few articles and watch a few YouTube clips.
2. Buy and read a (practical) book on Appreciative Inquiry
3. Go on a course – probably the best and fastest way to gain the AI techniques and skills
I believe that AI is a vital tool for any leader or manager. I’ve therefore asked Lorna Stellakis of Purple Process to put on an introductory course. Appreciative Inquiry is Lorna’s area of expertise.

To make the course viable I need 8 people paying just £95. Anything more than that I’ll donate to The Oasis Centre in Gorton (the charity I work with).

I’ve booked Altrincham Town Hall on Wednesday 26th October between 10am and 3pm.

If you’d like to join us then simply drop me an email ( or give me a call on 07931 882 555.

As always, there’s a no-questions-asked 100% money-back guarantee if you don’t get value for your £95. But you will.

Mark Dyble

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