If a Problem is Worth Solving, It's Worth Solving All the Way

Not all problems are created equal and not all problems are even worth solving. When they are; be aggressive in solving them so they never come up again.

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"I'll teach you all you need to know about running a company in one afternoon, and we'll both go home early to boot. You don't need Harvard to teach you that it's more important to listen than to talk. You can get straight As from all your Harvard profs, but you'll never make the grade unless you're decisive: even a timely wrong decision is better than no decision. The final thing you need to know is don't half-heartedly wound problems - kill them dead. That's all there is to it."

Kelly Johnson
Leadership Tools: Quote: Don't half-heartedly wound problems - kill them dead. Kelly Johnson. Book: Skunk Works by Ben R Rich and Leo Janos.

 

First of all, make sure you clearly define the problem, being very specific.  

“If I had an hour to solve a problem I'd spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and five minutes thinking about solutions.”

Albert Einstein

 

Ask a series of 'WHY' questions until you get to the root cause.  

Use the math of prioritization to P.I.C.K. the right problems to solve.  

Aggressively manage every detail of the solution so it doesn't come up again.  

Remember that 90% of continuous improvement is just about eliminating problems consistently, and only 10% is about innovative new ideas. The best leaders of construction companies know this.  

Check out a fun and informative read about history, innovation, problem solving, and government contracting in the book Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of My Years of Lockheed




Strategic Foundations: What Is Unlikely to Change?
Like construction projects, construction businesses are only as strong as their foundations. Build your strategies around things that are unlikely to change in the long-term (10+ years).
Feeling Safe and Being Safe
These are not the same. Both must be managed. Know which of your actions contribute to each and to what degree. Know that your actions may be interpreted dramatically differently by different people.
Planning and Preparing for Unknowns
When faced with many unknowns, it is important to plan and prepare for multiple scenarios while holding off on being decisive until the last responsible moment.