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Name of author Rick Baker, P.Eng.

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A Solution Mindset

by Rick Baker
On Apr 28, 2014


When problems arise, remember:

  1. Business Contains Only 3 Things: People, Processes, & Situations,
  2. Processes can topple People - this applies to both technical Processes and interpersonal-communication Processes, &
  3. Situations can topple People - especially 'new' Situations and stressful Situations.
In fact, more often than not flawed Processes and uncomfortable Situations do impair People's abilities to perform in productive ways.

The most expeditious and productive way to address problems is to first consider the Processes in play and the nature of the Situation surrounding the problem.

Do not assume you understand the Processes...even if you believe you have clear work-process and you have communicated it over and over. With the current high level of workplace stress and the fact People are struggling here, there, and everywhere with 'multi-tasking', People do not receive your messages as well as you think they do and People do not remember your messages as well as you wish they would. When it comes to Processes - never assume.
If you are 100% certain the Processes are bang-on and perfectly-communicated...doubt your understanding and doubt your memory...investigate the Processes. 
Doubt the Processes before you doubt the People.

Do not underestimate the power the Situation will have over the People's behaviour. Every Situation will have its nuances: different People, different Processes, different urgencies, different distractions, different constraints, different atmosphere, etc., etc., etc. Often, actually very often, when problems arise People's good intentions are overruled by the Situation. 

If you are 100% certain People are to blame...doubt your conclusion. And, adjust your thinking to incorporate the reality that:
  • good People do bad things when the Situation guides them 'to the dark side' [consider the Stanford prison experiment]
  • well-intentioned People fail to fulfil their good intentions when Situations guide/bring them 'to the failing side' [consider your own experiences, when circumstances beyond your control stopped you from delivering on a commitment]
  • People get caught up in Situations and sometimes common sense takes a back seat [consider the Vancouver '2011 Stanley Cup riot']
Discredit the Situation before you discredit the People.



Before you blame People for the problems make sure you have given sufficient thought to the high likelihood either Processes or the Situation are close to the root of the problem.

Linkage to another Spirited Leaders' philosophy - P=2S+O -

Spirited Leaders believe - for every Problem you must find at least 2 Solution options and keep your eyes open for Opportunities. And the best way to begin considering 2 Solution options: (1) look at the Processes and see if they contain the seeds for a good Solution and (2) look at the Situation and see if it contains the seeds for a good Solution. Do both these things before considering whether or not People are the source of the problem. This is not only the route to P=2S+O. It is the route to better Decisions. It is the route to improved attitudes at work. It is the route to creating positive change. It is the route to building relationships and building trust.


"Criticism, meet Decision"; "Decision, meet Criticism"

by Rick Baker
On Apr 16, 2014

"Criticism, meet Decision"; "Decision, meet Criticism"

Yes, I know you have met many times before and spent much time walking hand in hand. And while your hands have clasped together in confused alliance the meeting of your minds has created little of value.

I'm not blaming you...just pointing out a facet of the human condition.

As I observe you, it seems to me the two of you are self-blinded by biases. Each of you is laced up with the self-tied thoughts of the other. Each struggling to communicate unless speaking the assaulting language of the other.

You share a primary goal - 'Protect Self From Others'.

As a result, regardless of the motives you perceive, you provide little of value to others.

It seems you are destined to compete with everyone you touch.



Criticism: Constructive Criticism is an Oxymoron | Delegation & Decisions

Thought Tweet #966

by Rick Baker
On Mar 31, 2014

Thought Tweet #966 'To Do' lists often fail. Whereas 'To Do' + 'Why Do' = Success.


The Thinking Behind The Tweet

Thinking about interests, purpose, definite chief aim, definite purpose, and Simon Sinek's' 'Start With Why'...

If nothing else 'Why Do' provides context. That's the worst-case scenario. The best-case scenario is a buy-in on Values and Vision and Purpose.

Adding 'Why Do' to 'To Do'...well there's no downside...and much upside.


Thought Tweet #953

by Rick Baker
On Mar 12, 2014

Thought Tweet #953 If you can convince yourself you are too busy then you too can make worse decisions.


The Thinking Behind The Tweet

  1. It's all in the way you hold your mind.
  2. You do not have to take the time required to make good decisions. It is your prerogative to make lousy decisions and nobody can take that right away from you.
  3. There's probably no better way to make lousy decisions than holding in your mind the thoughts, "I am too busy" and "I don't have time".
  4. If you put your mind to it you will find your mind will warm to the habit of "I am too busy" and "I don't have time". And soon, very soon, you will be able to make really lousy decisions.


Delegation & Decisions | I'm too busy! - I don't have time! | Thought Tweets

Thought Tweet #952

by Rick Baker
On Mar 11, 2014

Thought Tweet #952 Wow! Emotions sure make some quick, wild, & crazy decisions.


The Thinking Behind The Tweet

And - Emotions delegate erratically & poorly.

Emotions: astonishing, provocative, & ubiquitous ways of going about business.


Delegation & Decisions | Emotions & Feelings @ Work | Thought Tweets

Thought Tweet #951

by Rick Baker
On Mar 10, 2014

Thought Tweet #951 The processes you use when you communicate influence people more than the logic you express.


The Thinking Behind The Tweet

According to Chip Heath and Dan Heath ['Decisive', 2013] "When the researchers compared whether process or analysis was more important in producing good decisions - those that increased revenues, profits, and market share - they found that "process mattered more than analysis - by a factor of six.""

Good Decision Making relies on good decision-making processes.

Good Influencing relies on good influence-making processes.

And Business Contains Only 3 Things: People, Processes, & Situations

Copyright © 2012. W.F.C (Rick) Baker. All Rights Reserved.