The Problem with Saying ‘That’s Not My Problem’
You’ve heard it. Heck, you might even say or think it from time to time.
“That’s Not My Problem.”
It could be related to a customer issue or a flawed work process. Or another department or team member is responsible for a task or project you know isn’t progressing as it should.
Yet when a new idea is proposed, many people point out potential negatives or say nothing. The new approach is met with little or no support and even resistance.
These and other examples make the ‘Not My Problem’ Problem one of the biggest roadblocks to positive change.
When you learn of a new approach, ask yourself: “Does the current way maximize the opportunity?” If the answer is anything less than a resounding “Yes,” give the new idea a chance and work to understand the “why” behind it.
If you’re the person promoting change, present the rationale behind the idea and the metrics you will use to evaluate it. Remember it’s human nature to fear a loss of control or an increased workload resulting from a new process. Show how the new way helps each group impacted by the change.
Communicate clearly and often. Create a sense of urgency among the troops. Point out what they lose by standing pat and what they gain by moving forward. Think beyond your immediate area to how other departments will be impacted. Acknowledge there could be challenges during the transition.
Listen to constructive feedback but be firm with naysayers focusing only on the negatives. If you don’t hear from some people, a common mistake is to misperceive their silence as support of your idea. You need to probe to find out what they really think and flesh out potential roadblocks.
Your communication before, during and after implementing the change will have as much impact on the success as the change itself. Create a communication plan prior to implementing the new approach. Work the plan. Ask for feedback. Listen and adjust based on what you learn.
No problem, right?