In the mail today, I received the May edition of Zingerman’s Training Inc.‘s promotional newsletter. Chock full of information about the creative company’s upcoming workshops, the mailer also includes a brief feature entitled “What Kind of Problem Are Dealing With?” (Awkward structure theirs.)
The piece encourages leaders facing challenges to consider what kind of problem they’r actually facing. Here’s their one-two-three:
1. Is there already a system in place for performing the task? If not, you have a systems problem. Training won’t help until there’s a system in place.
2. Is there a system in place that employees know how to use but don’t follow? If so, you have a management problem. Leaders need to ensure that existing systems are being used.
3. Is there a system, but employees don’t really know what it is or how to use it? If so, you have a training problem.
Many times, training problems are often confused with systems problems, and managers try to replace the “flawed” system. This quick checklist may be a handy way to respond to challenges.