Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 03/11/19
There’s relevant change and irrelevant change when you’re trying to solve a problem. Relevant change occurs at or before the time the problem began. Irrelevant change begins after the problem began (it’s irrelevant because the problem precedes it).
The electrician told me yesterday that perhaps my ground lights were blinking because a dimmer often doesn’t work with LED bulbs. But I told him that was impossible because they began blinking before the LED bulbs were installed. I told him the most relevant change was the heavy snow, after which they started blinking, meaning water seeped into a ground installation. (I was right, of course.)
In business, we “blame” a supervisor who was appointed well after the poor performance began. Or we blame a politician for a condition that was begun by a predecessor. Or we blame ourselves even though we’ve inherited a tough assignment.
Others may be expert in their content (electricity) but we’re experts in our processes (problem solving, for example). I’m not going to tell you how to wire my generators, but don’t tell me how to problem solve. Find the relevant change and you’ll solve problems in no time. Edison invented the light bulb, but only after he solved the problems preventing its development.
We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them. — Albert Einstein