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…We Have a Problem

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.)

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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.

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