Efficient or effective? Is your team solving the right problems?

Photo by Giovanni C. Garnica on Unsplash

When you’re working on a complex business challenge you might be tempted to jump at the first plausible solution. But that would be a big mistake. 

Is your team solving the right problems?

Perspective is everything. 

When you’re working on a complex business challenge you might be tempted to jump at the first plausible solution. 

Let’s face it – who wants to have a big hairy problem hanging over their head when they could quickly punt it over the fence and get on with things?

You know you want to do it; it's the efficient thing to do, right?


Here’s why.

Over the past 15 years, I’ve worked with leaders and teams who were tackling some challenging business problems.

And you know what I found every time?

The presenting problem was never the real problem.

And when the team did not take the time to look at the situation from multiple perspectives, they put a lot of energy and effort into solving the wrong problem.

And eventually, it came back to bite them.

Who has time for that?


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Complex business challenges need new ways of thinking

To do really great work, your team needs to be focused on being effective, not just efficient.

So the next time you are tempted to punt a problem over the fence, here’s a simple way to overcome the desire to rush for a solution. 

  1. Start by thinking about your situation and what you need to happen. Then finish this sentence …. It would be great if...
  2. Now, gather up any data you have at hand. What do you know about the situation? What has you puzzled? What do you wish you knew about the situation?
  3. Use a mind map to capture the facts, feelings, and hunches you have – organizing them as best you can. I love working on a wall with a flip-chart when I do this... it helps you see patterns in the data quickly. If you're working virtually, use an electronic mind mapping tool.
  4. Review your data and ask yourself, what’s the real problem that needs our attention?
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Take the time to understand your current reality and figure out where to focus your attention.

It doesn’t need to take ages – you can have an impact in as little as 15 – 60 minutes.  

Better yet, get your team together to help you. Set a timer and keep the dialogue open and exploratory. 

No need to judge what people offer, simply acknowledge, and appreciate every contribution.

The goal is to get many perspectives on the situation. Even diverse ones. Because more often than not, it’s that diverse perspective that unlocks the situation and sets you on the right path for finding a better solution.

Invest the time to look at the situation from several perspectives. It will pay off in spades because you won’t be chasing the wrong rainbow. You will have greater clarity on where you are, where you need to go, and a much better sense of how to get there.

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BridgePoint Effect is a boutique consulting firm with a bold vision to transform the way leaders and their teams collaborate, innovate and deliver outstanding results.

We help frustrated leaders who know their teams can achieve more. 

We offer a framework, practical toolkit and high calibre coaching that gives you the structure, skills and support needed to build an effective team.

Let's get your team achieving more than you ever thought possible.


Book a consultation call



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