Don’t bring up a problem unless you can offer a solution – NOT

There is a business edict that has always troubled me as a manager. It was “don’t bring up a problem unless you can offer a solution”.  I hope lean practitioners don’t subscribe to this tenet. How many problems are not exposed because an employee can’t offer a solution. Just in… an old school news flash …that is what management is for!  I know we don’t want to be bothered with all the whiners however that is called communication. That is when you mentor, advise and discuss issues and opportunities with your employees. Your role is leader, teacher and guide. A good leader should want to know the problems of the organization. Having a prerequisite of a possible solution before submitting a problem is self-defeating. According to Deming the aim of leadership is to improve man and machine. Just as a salesman’s job begins with “no” a managers job begins with “I have problem”. If an employee has a possible solution great if not begin the problem solving process and thank them for caring enough communicate the issue.

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One Response to Don’t bring up a problem unless you can offer a solution – NOT

  1. John Hunter says:

    I agree, potential solutions are nice but shouldn’t be required. I have written about this previously http://management.curiouscatblog.net/2007/10/01/bring-me-solutions-not-problems/

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