What is the one thing we all have in common? White black, rich poor, young old, male female, handsome unattractive; there is something we all have in common – pain! And we all have the desire to overcome it. Our common denominator for pain is the result of the universal experience of problems.
The source of the pain may be different but in some way we all encounter it; and we remember the experience because of it. Can you recall the last thing that caused you pain?
Why do doctors, executives, and star athletes receive some of the largest salaries I our economy? The reason is because these professionals solve problems that others don’t have the answers to. Consider a problem you have that you have been unable to solve; and remember the pain, aggravation and discomfort it caused you. You would probably agree that if you had the wherewithal you would spare no expense to find a solution to the problem.
This common resolve reveals an important point for leaders to understand; problems are not burdensome obstacles, they are profitable opportunities. Therefore, what can today’s leaders do to transform the unending mounds of problems that exist in today’s business world into a treasure trove of golden potential?
Here are the 3 steps for turning your problems into profits.
Step #1 – Change Your Perspective
When things go wrong, as they most certainly will, you must resist believing you are a victim. A victim spends the majority of his time complaining and fighting to change the past with useless expressions like, “Why did this happen? I can’t believe… This is so unfair!” However, problem solvers replace being a victim with developing vision. Vision means you don’t dwell on the past but you look through the problem into the future where you only see solutions that are waiting to be made manifest. The inspiration to a problem-solver’s vision is the belief that the very manifestation of the problem necessitates that there must be a dialectical solution.
Step #2 – Employ the Solution Process
As the visionary’s mind queries for a solution, creativity is birthed from the solution process. The solution process involves 3 steps: investigate, cultivate, and communicate. To investigate means to probe the problem and identify its characteristics (strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threats) and the source of its existence. Cultivate means to think creatively on how to make the problem better than its current state. Communicate means to involve others by inviting them into your creativity by sharing ideas and exploring new possibilities collectively not yet considered individually.
Step #3 – Systematize
The opportunity for profit exists because one man’s problem is the same in another man. In order to capitalize on the vast opportunity to satisfy needs, you must systematize your solution by finding away to make it accessible to the masses in need. Computerize it, bottle it, mass produce it, publish it in a book, etc.; these activities are examples of the many ways you can package it in a system for profit.
When employees are trained to be creative thinkers, they begin to see solutions instead of problems. They begin to see new opportunities for profit instead of complaining about workloads. In short, employees that are inspired to reach deeper into the reservoirs of their potential add value to their organizations.
By John Benson