Today, I want to talk to you about thee three stages of problem solving as a leader. Let’s take a look.
These stages come from A Beautiful Constraint by Morgan and Barden. They propose that as you face constraint and face a real problem, you experience three stages of response: a victim, a neutralizer, or a transformer.
In the victim stage, you lose ambition and you feel that constraint because you can’t figure out how to resolve that issue and move forward. Unfortunately, most people never make it out of this stage. They stay in the victim stage and they make excuses. They shift the blame and never move forward.
In the neutralizer stage, you feel ambitious, but you actually find an alternative solution. You work around the constraints you have and you find a solution that is at least as good as the one you had before. So, it’s not anything better, or new, or grand, or different, but you’ve got a solution that is neutral to where you once were.
In the transformer stage, you look at this issue that you are facing as an opportunity. That posture makes all the difference. It makes you more ambitious and it makes you seek a new and better solution than the one you had before. You are not confined by that. You are emboldened by it. It gives you energy.
To best solve problems, these guys suggest that you ask yourself a couple of questions. First, why are you stuck at this stage? Second, how can you get beyond it? You must examine your mindset, your methods, your motivations, to now get an accurate picture of why you are stuck where you are. Only then can you take a step back and get better progress toward a solution.
Now that you understand the three stages of problem solving, identify where you currently are, and decide what you are going to do about it.