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Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

27 May '11

Focusing on problems not people

Posted by T.J. Addington in innovation, ministry excellence, problem solving
It is interesting how we are usually think about problems. Something does not work, goes wrong, fails, is causing frustration and we automatically ask, "who is responsible?" In other words we go to a person and we go to blame.

It is the wrong focus! The focus should be on the problem and trying to figure out why the problem occurs and how it can be fixed. In many cases we find that the problem is not about an individual but about a process that is poorly designed.

It is instructive to take a problem that is frustrating in your organization and on a white board diagram the entire process involved with the inputs and outputs. Who is involved and what process is involved and where does the process break down and why? In most cases you will quickly discover that the problem is no caused primarily by individuals but by a flawed process that needs to be refined and fixed. In fact, any time there is ongoing frustration about something, the white board process picture should be drawn and analyzed. 

Now if after you have analyzed the process you discover it breaks down with a specific individual you can deal with the individual. But as a philosophy, focus on problems not people. 

One last thought. Every problem is an opportunity to refine systems, change processes, eliminate what is not needed and do what you do in a more effective way. A problem equals opportunity to do something better. That is why I like problems.