Identifying What is Most Significant.
Asking the right questions at the appropriate time in a conversation with a client can reveal some interesting challenges, I ask a simple question. What are the three most significant issues, challenges, opportunities you feel you need to address at this time that will provide the greatest benefits in your life and for your business? What a mouth full!
The purpose of such a question is to bring to the surface what is referred to as the ‘Just Pick Three’. A strategic intervention strategy that gets the client to focus on what has been on their minds and needs to be addressed so that the team can move forward with the work under consideration. The idea is to identify the three primary issues currently needing to be addressed, elevate the conversation to establish the terms under which they are to be resolved and transform the otherwise adversarial relationship into one of aligning intent and establishing a more agreeable process to accomplish the task at hand.
There are Seven Key steps to follow.
1. Work together in identifying and prioritizing the three most important challenges your business is facing right now.
2. Leadership needs to understand that their management and key staff’s input matters equally as their own and must, therefore, work on remaining objective to this aspect of the process. What is good for the Goose is also good for the Gander.
3. What challenges you are addressing are the results of the effort behind the actions in addressing the challenges. These must be both quantitative and qualitative in nature. This step is crucial as it allows other stakeholders in your business to bring to the table their areas of knowledge and perspective that support the success of the work being done.
4. State the result as a benefit supported by ROI, anecdotal comments, noticeable reduction in consumer returns, reduction in legal hours spent in reviewing issues, etc. Measurability, is key.
5. This strategy should be administered down through the ranks to reinforce the belief in the value of all employees contributions. Division executives, mid-level managers, and supervisors should also administer this effort in their respective departments. This again reinforces the commitment to including all employees involved and ideas. See the article entitled, Brainstorming.
6. By focusing on three items to be addressed, this relieves the pressure of multiple challenges all needing immediate attention of which outcomes will be poor and unsustainable. By having the team focus on three challenges builds a timeline of achieving successful outcomes that will build of subsequent projects being addressed with the right attitude.
7. Steps 7 relates back to Step 2 in that all ideas, solutions, and input are weighed in equally. No one is absolutely right as inputs to resolving any individual challenge will change as new information is gathered and applied. Expect errors, incomplete data pools from which you will work with, and environmental factors that will influence the executed process. Remind the team of the collaborative approach and commitment to the Just Pick Three strategy.
The benefit of this strategic intervention.
The benefit of this strategic intervention is that a baseline agreement is established, the three key challenges are identified, and agreed on which creates stability and consistency of what is expected. This is similar to the safe island approach competent physicians use with their patients. When these steps are executed appropriately, order within a company is established or re-established, expectations are solidified and all parties can focus their energy on the process of addressing the three challenges.
Thank you for reading this article.
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Be seeing you!
Ronald M. Allen