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When Well Trained and Rehearsed Looks Like
a Quick Fix!

I was reading a blog yesterday about "quick fixes".  This reminded me of how many times I have been asked to improve teamwork or communication as part of a bigger annual event.  One potential client asked me to build team spirit within his group who were working under intense pressure and it was affecting their productivity, creativity and ability to hit important deadlines.  We started talking about an afternoon which I thought might be just enough time to do some problem analysis to find out the root causes of the issue and then create a list of potential solutions.  After that it would take more time to analyse the ideas and turn the best into an action plan. 

 

It soon became clear that, once the event was over, no more time would be given until next year's event and they were not going to do any pre or post event activity.  When I submitted my first draft programme I soon found myself in a discussion about how things had changes since I was first invited to do the Workshop and now there was only two hours left: what could I do in that time?  That was when I realised that this business was not serious enough about solving its problems to spend any significant amount of time to create problem linked solutions. When I said that I did not think that two hours was enough and said "No" to the job my surprised client said "Isn't some time better than none?”  I can't spend any more time we have a lot of customers to satisfy."  He sounded a bit like the woodchopper who, when challenged about his drop in tree felling said "I haven't got time to sharpen my axe, I have all these trees to chop down." 

He then went on to say "Anyway, that picture shows a quick fix working!"  He pointed to the picture above a copy of which is on his office wall going on to say "...and it shows good teamwork."  I agreed about the teamwork but was adamant he is wrong about the quick fix piece.  Why?

Well, to me the only reason this fix is working, no matter how much actual clock time it takes, is because everyone knows what the problem is, agrees on it being the problem and knows how to do their bit to solve it. Great teamwork comes through because everyone knows their job and is doing it efficiently and effectively.  What is not clear from this picture is how much training, practice and problem solving has gone on before the race!

If you are still wondering about it Imagine yourself going to hospital for surgery and the surgeon says "I didn't have time for that bit of the training but I will work it our as we go along!"  Would you feel happy about that?

It is the same for all organisations: you need sustained investment of time (and money?) on training, thinking and problem solving such that constant improvement will keep you on track to deliver your mission. 

 

 

   
 

 

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