Fixing or Building?

Are you building on the incremental successes of your work in the practice of applying what you are learning with others to increase the impact created?  Or, do you find yourself merely surviving by staying super busy patching broken processes and herding people into the broken cause just to keep it all moving?

It’s natural for us to become problem solvers to treat the symptoms of the problems and not solve the problem itself.  If it’s broken, keep fixing it?  Most organizations even herald the talents of those firefighting problem solvers that regularly save the day patching things together.  Inordinate amounts of time are spent perpetuating the fix for the problems rather than collectively investing in solving the problem itself.

Are you maintaining or building in your work?  With a practice of learning and applying what you are learning, a greater impact can be generated.  An organization can move to much greater levels of sustainable success and manage through change as a learning organization.  One that continuously builds upon what is working.

There will be problems.  There will be fixes.  Organizations are imperfect.  The key is to lean into building more than fixing over time.  Don’t allow yourself to simply disavow responsibility as a member of the organization to generate progress through a practice of applied learning.  The best lessons, the ones that differentiate the greatest learners and thereby the greatest organizations, are the hardest learned.

“Our rational brain has a problem focus when it needs a solution focus. If you are a manager, ask yourself, what is the ratio of the time you spend solving problems versus scaling successes? We need to switch from archaeological problem solving to bright-spot evangelizing.”   — Chip Heath  —


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