Fundamental #4 – Be resourceful and find a way to make it happen


Fundamental #4 – Be resourceful and find a way to make it happen.  Start by looking for how we can do it, rather than rationalizing why it can’t be done.  Customers don’t care about our policies or procedures, nor are they interested in our excuses.  Be an active participant in finding solutions.  You have the ability to solve even the most challenging problems.  Use your creativity.  Take ownership, and see that it gets done – somehow, someway.

As you may know, I am in a lot of meetings about problems and I can’t tell you how many times I have heard, “that is how we have always done it” and that’s about as far as the conversation goes.  To live this fundamental is to not accept that.  There are so many other creative options for solving any given problem out there-the key is to take a step back and look at it from a different perspective because what we’ve always done isn’t working.  Like Albert Einstein says “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them”.

This is one of my favorite fundamentals because it encourages us to think outside the box.  In my opinion, this is where the fun begins.  Brainstorming for root causes and solutions is one of the most fun and rewarding activities in problem solving.  It is a great way to get people thinking creatively, everyone is working as a team, it is exciting, you are making your life, the lives of our coworkers and company better.  There are plenty of quality tools (affinity diagram, logic tree, fishbone, 5 whys, etc.) that can help you look at problems from different perspectives.

The other side of this fundamental is to not rationalize why it can’t be done.  How often have you heard someone’s initial reaction to something like a hot order or a complicated part be “we can’t do that”?  Mike and Matthew went to a growth summit last year and told us about what they learned.  One thing that stuck with me and comes to mind for this fundamental is the “Oh F#@&” to “OK” Process.  It goes like this:

  •  “Oh F#@&” (The Reaction Phase): Here they go again, I hate it/them when they say or do that.
  • “Oh Gawd!” (The Release Phase): I don’t really hate them. I hate it. I just can’t stand it when things seem to be okay and then “wham” it falls apart
  • “Oh Jeez” (The Recenter Phase): That’s what mental illness is. They really can’t help themselves
  • “Oh Well” (The Refocus Stage): No use being angry at them or me, just accept that it’s a marathon and get back on the track. It’s not the end of the world, it just another mess to clean up, just like we’ve done many times before.
  • “OK” (The Reengage Phase): The first think we should get started on is…

I challenge you to look for problems that you can actively help solve.  Look for how we can accomplish or overcome whatever is ahead of us.  Come from a place of knowing we can do it rather than it can’t be done.  Keep in mind the “Oh F#@&” to “OK” Process.  Take ownership and see that it gets done however that may be.  We really can do whatever we set our minds to – go do it.

– Amy Ammer