As a manager, you are often faced with a problem to solve. And, you think, if I could just get my team involved, there are some benefits. Team problem solving –
- Communicates the accountability to the team
- Brings in a diversity of fresh ideas
- Brings in ideas that can be combined with other ideas
- Challenges the team to contribute their best thinking
- Brings in other perspectives on what the real problem is
- Surfaces additional “what if” scenarios
- Speeds execution of the solution
So, why don’t we get our team involved more often?
- We don’t have time
- Our team members are already overworked
- Our team members are too busy to attend a problem solving meeting
- It’s not their problem
Our objections are just head-trash. Every time the manager solves a problem for the team, it cripples the team from engaging in problem-solving behavior.
The team still needs a guide. And when you float the problem, they will resist, at first they will panic. Your job, as a manager, is to simply outlast the panic. If you want to build a team, give them a real problem to solve. -Tom