Throughout my career in finance, consulting, marketing, sales and general management, there have been a few constants I have learned and used again and again successfully. Allow me to share three of them:
Regardless of functional area or level in the organization, we are frequently faced with problems to define, analyze and solve. As leaders, we need to easily understand and solve problems so we can move the business forward and drive intelligent growth and productivity. Following is a five-step process that can be implemented on one side of an 8.5" x 11" sheet of paper or digitally, as you prefer. A consistent language of problem definition and analysis is the key.
If the causes are stated accurately and solved with the corresponding recommendations, the problem should be solved, or at least mitigated. Note that some causes could be problems in themselves, worthy of their own problem analysis. Any of the above causes could be problems with their own deeper causes and impacts. In this way, a logical argument can be constructed – an extremely useful and compelling way to solve the problems placed before us on a day-to-day basis. This approach to problem solving is highly actionable and ties back to my lesson of “less is more,” and it provides access to critical information when and where you need it. Try it out, and please share your feedback!
Alan Gonsenhauser is a Research Director of CMO and Marketing Executive Strategies at SiriusDecisions. He is passionate about accelerating growth, driving innovations and leading business transformations. At SiriusDecisions, he works closely with global chief marketing officers and sales and product leaders to drive positive organizational change and cross-functional alignment, benchmark against peers, and mobilize deployment of new marketing methods to accelerate innovation and growth. Follow Alan on Twitter @agonsenhauser.