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Friday, October 7, 2022

Lean Quote: Great Leaders Encourage Problem Solving

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"Build a culture that rewards—not punishes—people for getting problems into the open where they can be solved.  —  Ben Horowitz, co-founder, VC firm Andreessen Horowitz

When employees collectively work toward solving problems, it builds a team environment, encourages collaborative effort and prompts staffers to have a vested interest in making your company stronger. Problem solving can also create stronger bonds between colleagues and improve the overall workplace dynamic.

Encourage problem-solving by forming employee committees, think tanks and representative groups that contribute departmental feedback to the upper echelons of management. This type of approach helps employees see their input and opinion is valued, respected and sought after. Not only will staffers start taking a more significant interest in problem solving and making the company successful, management will also benefit from getting feedback from frontline employees.

Don't be tied down by stagnant processes or ways of thinking. Promote a philosophy of being open to change and suggestions from employees. Host brainstorming sessions and encourage staffers to voice their opinions and bring new ideas to the table without fear or judgment. Institute a system where employees from all levels can bring new concepts to management, and reward forward-thinking initiatives.

Great managers appreciate the different perspectives their team members bring to the table and create balanced workspaces. They set the expectation that everyone on the team helps one another, values one another, and will work together to accomplish team goals.

Employees need the freedom and authority to solve problems that relate to their work. Encourage increased levels of problem-solving among employees by providing training on problem-solving best practices in your industry. Today’s workers want training that helps them advance their knowledge and career.

When your employees feel confident in their ability to solve problems, as well as their manager’s confidence in them to ask questions and solve problems, the organization and the individual benefits, and you, as their manager, have more time to work on what you want to get done.

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