Welcome Sally Learey - 'Dynamic Problem Solving’

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Barbara Gabogrecan
President

Welcome Sally Learey - 'Dynamic Problem Solving’

Postby Barbara Gabogrecan » Fri May 03, 2013 8:23 am

ImageI am sure you will find many points of interest in the discussion by Sally Learey this week, as she shares her thoughts with you on how to overcome problems in business. Her topic, ‘Dynamic Problem Solving’, is sure to cover many of the problems that you have personally had to cope with in business and perhaps some problems that you have not yet experienced.

Sally is a keynote speaker, author of seven books and is a coach/mentor. She holds qualifications in teaching, training, positive psychology, coaching and counseling. As well as assisting small business, Sally has worked in corporate and government sectors.

Her passion about the concepts of CHANGE and RESPONSIBILITY in business will no doubt intrigue you. Join me in welcoming Sally to our Forum on Monday 6th May; ask her questions and share your experiences, ensuring that all readers gain valuable ideas from this discussion.
Barb
Barbara Gabogrecan assists HBB's to market their business online
http://www.HomeBasedBusinessAustralia.org

Barbara is an artist specialising in silk painting; her video is on page one of You Tube http://youtu.be/1ZA9HObN_Go
http://www.SilkPaintingByGabogrecan.com/

Having survived a stroke and a brain tumour, Barbara wrote a book titled 'Thank God I Had a Stroke' to motivate and inspire others suffering from similar afflictions.
http://GabogrecanStrokeRecovery.com/
Barbara Gabogrecan
 
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Re: Welcome Sally Learey - 'Dynamic Problem Solving’

Postby Sally Learey » Fri May 03, 2013 11:28 am

Thanks Barbara for inviting me to talk about dynamic problem solving in business. I am excited to be a part of this proactive business community!! See you next week…
Sally :D
Sally Learey
 
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Re: Welcome Sally Learey - 'Dynamic Problem Solving’

Postby Sally Learey » Mon May 06, 2013 11:01 am

PROBLEMS IN SMALL BUSINESS

As a small business owner you always have problems to solve, don’t you?

I don’t know what business you are in but I do know the nature of the problems you face.

Have you faced, are facing or will face any of the following challenges in your business…?

• Obtaining capital
• Marketing
• Time management
• Pricing
• Branding
• Networking
• Keeping up with technology upgrades
• IT Communications
• Social Media
• Growing your business
• Money management
• Maintaining market share with increasing competition
• Keeping up with demand (growing pains)
• Reaching your target market
• Staffing/Employee issues
• Balancing Quality and Growth
• Challenging clients
• Legal and ethical issues of operating a business
• Safety issues
• Covering multiple jobs (sales, shipping, customer service, business development, etc.)
• Fatigue
• Attracting new customers
• Getting repeat business from existing customers

All of these challenges relate to 2 concepts
1. Change
2. Responsibility

Change and responsibility will always be intertwined with the growth/success of your business.
And change and responsibility will inevitably present you with problems that need to be solved.

I encourage you to expect, embrace and capitalise on these business problems.
I encourage you to view these problems from a different perspective.

Over the next 6 days I will give you the tools you need to solve your problems dynamically to create star results in your business.
Stay tuned...
Sally :D
Sally Learey
 
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Re: Welcome Sally Learey - 'Dynamic Problem Solving’

Postby Barbara Gabogrecan » Mon May 06, 2013 11:08 am

Can't wait to see what tools you have to offer us Sally. I think of all the issues that you mention, time (or how to best manage it) is the most problematic for me. It seems as though, even though I know so many of the other things that you mention, I do not have enough time to implement everything I know I should be doing.
Barb
Barbara Gabogrecan assists HBB's to market their business online
http://www.HomeBasedBusinessAustralia.org

Barbara is an artist specialising in silk painting; her video is on page one of You Tube http://youtu.be/1ZA9HObN_Go
http://www.SilkPaintingByGabogrecan.com/

Having survived a stroke and a brain tumour, Barbara wrote a book titled 'Thank God I Had a Stroke' to motivate and inspire others suffering from similar afflictions.
http://GabogrecanStrokeRecovery.com/
Barbara Gabogrecan
 
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Re: Welcome Sally Learey - 'Dynamic Problem Solving’

Postby Sally Learey » Mon May 06, 2013 11:27 am

Yes Barb, I hear you. Time management is critical in business. When solving this problem I think it's important to examine how you spend your 24 hours each day. Once you know what you are currently doing, then you can identify where and how you could be spending your time more productively. Then it's about prioritising, planning and actioning. Some things may just need to wait, some may need to be outsourced, some may be able to be achieved more efficiently and effectively if you embrace a new strategy for example.
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Re: Welcome Sally Learey - 'Dynamic Problem Solving’

Postby Sally Learey » Tue May 07, 2013 11:38 am

The first tool you need to solve your problems dynamically in business is the right attitude. Never underestimate the power of attitude.

YOUR ATTITUDE IS KEY
"Men are disturbed not by things, but by the view which they take of them.”
~Epictetus (Greek Philosopher, 55-135)


Discover your current attitude or mindset in your business using the following questions.

• Are you problem obsessed or solution focused?
• Do you find the positives in a situation or the negatives?
• Do you think things through from an optimistic angle or a
pessimistic angle?
• Is your glass half full or half empty?
• Are you the victim or the victor of your problems?
• Do you choose your attitude to the day’s events or do you let the
day’s events choose your attitude?
• Do you greet each day full of hope and vigour or curse all the
problems the day might bring?
• Do you ‘act on’ or ‘react to’ problems?
• Do you do what’s easy or do what works when it comes to
overcoming problems?

Dynamic problem solving in business hinges on having a positive attitude towards your problems. You must find a way to…

• Be open to problems
• See problems objectively, not subjectively (that is, you are not the problem)
• Have a ‘can do’ attitude towards problem solving
• Understand and believe that there are opportunities in problems
• Tackle your problems with zest, enthusiasm and energy

Your attitude towards your business problems plays a huge role in deciding whether you overcome your problems or your problems overcome you! Don’t worry about ‘how’ at this point. Just focus on understanding that by adopting a positive, determined attitude, you are halfway there.

Your attitude is determined largely by your thoughts. Thoughts influence feelings or emotions and these in turn influence actions. In essence, if you genuinely change the way you think about problems, it will have a huge impact on your ability to solve them.

Use your positive attitude towards problems to guide the problem solving process in the following ways.

Learn to remain calm in the midst of a problem.
Panic lets your problem hold you to ransom.
Ask yourself some quality questions to see your problem from a ‘big picture’ viewpoint.

1. How will this problem affect my business one year from now?
2. How will this problem affect my business five years from now?
3. What is the worst case ‘scenario’ for this problem?

One problem at a time
Take the time to write down all your business problems.
It is important to realise that you can only deal effectively with one problem at a time. Prioritise your problems in order of importance or urgency. If you are having difficulty with this, pick one main problem out of those you have identified and use it as your starting point. Now that you have your problems recorded, you can stop the chaos in your head. With a one-by-one problem solving strategy, your thoughts will regain clarity.

Put your problems in perspective
It’s imperative that you put your problems in perspective otherwise they will consume you and your business. Remember, you are not the problem, your whole business is not the problem and all is not a disaster. You may feel this way at the time, but be aware that it’s just not true.

Focus
Dynamic problem solving is about concentration. It’s about giving deliberate attention to solving a problem whilst minimising negative consequences and maximising positive outcomes. It’s about doing what you need to do unwaveringly. It’s about eliminating distractions and procrastination. It’s about taking control with purpose.

The most exciting thing about this first dynamic problem solving tool – attitude - is that anyone can use it in their business. And the added bonus… it’s free.

Sally :D
Sally Learey
 
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Re: Welcome Sally Learey - 'Dynamic Problem Solving’

Postby Sally Learey » Wed May 08, 2013 1:41 pm

The second tool you need to solve your problems dynamically in business is a reliable strategy.

STRATEGY SUPPORTS SOLUTIONS

The strategy I recommend is ‘ACT TODAY’.
‘ACT TODAY’ has 2 meanings.
Firstly, it reminds you when to solve your problems.

Secondly, it is an acronym for an 8 step problem solving strategy that can be applied in your business.
Let me explain its meaning…

‘ACT TODAY’
1. Aware of and admit to having a problem
2. Clarify the problem
3. Time to ask quality questions
4. The thinking phase
5. One solution stands out
6. Decisions for your solution
7. Act on and review your solution
8. Your reward.

These 8 steps to solving problems are universal. They can consistently be applied to every problem you encounter in your business. Each step is simple, yet powerful.

When problem solving becomes tough we often resort to unproductive behaviours like procrastination or denial or blame. These behaviours will not solve your business problems! You know it and I know it.

Instead…when problem solving becomes tough I suggest you be guided by a strategy. Commit to it as a business tool.

As you work through the 8 steps be prepared to…

•Challenge yourself
•Move out of your comfort zone
•Do what is necessary mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically
and behaviourally

…so you can achieve the best possible solution to your problem.

Let’s take a closer look at each step…

Step 1: Aware of and admit to having a problem
“It isn’t that they can’t see the solution. It is that they can’t see the problem.”
~Gilbert K. Chesterton (English Writer, 1874-1936)


Adopt an awareness of what’s going on in your business. When you open your eyes and open your heart, you can sense if things are not right. If you identify an issue, draw attention to it. Admit to yourself that there is a problem, when there is a problem. You can’t overcome something if you won’t admit its existence. Admitting there is a problem is a sign of strength and insight. It really is!

•How can you improve your business if you don’t open your mind?
•How can you learn new skills?
•How can you build a blockbuster business if you don’t identify the areas that need work?

If you have a problem, admit it, and get on with the process of overcoming it.


Step 2: Clarify the problem
“No problem can be solved until it is reduced to some simple form.
The changing of a vague difficulty into a specific, concrete form is a very
essential element in thinking.”

~J.P. Morgan (American Financier and Banker, 1837-1913)

Take some time to think through your problem. Ask yourself the following question:
“What is the problem that I need to solve?”
Answer this question by stating the problem to yourself in plain and simple language.
The message is straightforward – be very clear about what you are solving.
If necessary, make a date with yourself to clarify problems. Diarise it and then follow through.
When you can see your problems clearly, it’s a lot easier to create momentum around solving them.
Once you have clarified a problem, now is the time to begin solving it. Don’t wait until tomorrow – tomorrow never comes. Start working on it today. Launch into asking some quality questions.

Step 3: Time to ask quality questions
“A prudent question is one-half of wisdom.”
~Francis Bacon (English Lawyer and Philosopher, 1561-1626)


Quality questions are open questions, phrased to encourage reflective thought.
Asking quality questions produces quality answers.
Quality questions in this 3rd step of the problem solving process are ‘what’ questions…

•What aspects of this problem do I need to get under control?
•What does this problem need?
•What are my non-negotiable behaviours when solving this problem?
•What are some possible solutions to this problem?
•What needs to be done to solve it?
•What needs to be said to solve it?
•What past experiences can I draw on?
•What can I learn from the experience of others that can help me overcome this problem?
•What do I need right now to deal with this problem?
• What part of the problem do I still need to grasp?
• What are the questions that I haven’t asked?
• What’s good about this problem?
• What lessons can I learn from this problem?

You can use this set of quality questions every time you have a problem to overcome. These questions can move your problem towards a solution by setting thought in motion.

Step 4: The thinking phase
“No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.”
~Voltaire (French poet and philosopher, 1694-1778)


As you ask quality questions, your unconscious mind will get to work thinking of possible answers. At the same time, you can put your conscious mind to work thinking of possible answers…
A powerful strategy when asking yourself questions is to record both the questions and the answers. That way your brain has a better chance of processing all the information clearly and accurately.

Step 5: One solution stands out
“Choose always the way that seems the best, however rough it may be; custom will soon render it easy and agreeable.”
~Pythagoras (Greek Mathematician and Philosopher, 580-500 B.C.)


Sooner or later, depending on the nature and context of your problem, you will need to decide on a solution. So evaluate the possible solutions you identified during the thinking phase.
Think about them from all angles:
• physical
• financial
• practical
• short term
• long term.
There could be an extremely obvious solution for you and your business, or you may need to make another investment of time and thought until one solution stands out for you as the ‘best’.
It is important to remember that you are not looking for the easiest solution. You are looking for the solution that will overcome your business problem in the best possible way given the available resources.
You can now focus all your energy on applying the solution you have chosen…

Step 6: Decisions for your solution
“Choices are the hinges of destiny.”
~Pythagoras (Greek Mathematician and Philosopher, 580-500 B.C.)


This step of the problem solving process is all about…
1. Deciding how to apply your solution.
2. Deciding when to apply your solution.
Asking quality questions will once again support you in thinking about possible answers.
Quality questions in this 6th step are ‘how’ and ‘when’ questions…

• How/when can I apply my solution in the most effective way?
• How/when can I use my time, energy, resources and finances to apply my solution?

Set yourself a timeframe to decide how and when to apply your solution to your problem.
Trust your judgement.
Don’t look back.
These decisions are right for you because you made them.
Feel empowered knowing it is choice, not chance, that determines the
what, how and when of overcoming your business problems.


Step 7: Act and review
“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.”
~Johann Wolfgang Goethe (German Poet, 1749-1832)


Put your solution into action!
Then review the outcome of your action.
This is one of the golden rules in problem solving, but many business people
neglect it.
So review your action, review your action and review your action.
Check that it provided you with the solution you were after.

Reviewing your action involves asking yourself some questions.
1. Have I solved the problem?
2. Am I happy with the solution?
3. Have I solved the entire problem or just some of it?
4. Do I need to take any further action in order to solve the problem?
5. What action do I need to take?
6. How will I take this action?
7. When will I take this action?

Reviewing and taking further action after choosing an original solution is not a shortfall. It’s an intelligent move, if your original solution did not solve your problem satisfactorily. You are simply taking the next step.
Prepare yourself to try a second solution or a third or even a fourth and so on.
Failing to review actions is the undoing of many people and many businesses. So beware!

Step 8: Your reward
“Obstacles are great incentives.”
~Jules Michelet (French Historian, 1798-1874)


To discover your intrinsic rewards ask yourself some questions about your problem solving experience.
1. What have I achieved?
2. What is the benefit to my business?
3. What is the impact on productivity and performance?
5. What was the lesson in this problem?
6. What are the business opportunities as a result of solving this problem?

Remember, strategy supports solutions in business.

Sally :D
Sally Learey
 
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Re: Welcome Sally Learey - 'Dynamic Problem Solving’

Postby Sally Learey » Thu May 09, 2013 10:26 am

The third tool you need to solve your problems dynamically in business is accountability.

RAISING YOUR HAND IS EMPOWERING
Accountability of course refers to answerability, responsibility and liability.

. It is about being open and honest and upfront in business.
. It is about being transparent.
. Customers want to know that you are accountable for all that happens in your business.
. Accountability builds trust, rapport, relationships and all importantly it builds repeat business.

As a business owner, who is accountable for your business and all that happens in your business?
You are.

Who is accountable for your business problems?
You are.

Who is accountable for your business solutions?
You are.

Who is accountable for all the issues that your business faces from raising capital to marketing to employee issues to customer satisfaction?
That’s right, you are.

The sooner you accept, internalise and embrace accountability for all that happens in your business, the sooner your business will flourish.

Some business owners waste time whinging and complaining when a customer account is overdue. Others dwell in a place of misery when a deal falls through. Others find anything and anyone to complain about or blame when business is tough or time is short or customers take their business elsewhere.

When you truly embrace accountability in your business these issues evaporate and are replaced with an understanding that all that happens in your business is your responsibility and that if you want a different outcome you need to take the necessary action and adopt the necessary mindset to make this happen.

A lesson in tough love today…
Sally :D
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Re: Welcome Sally Learey - 'Dynamic Problem Solving’

Postby Geoff Haw » Fri May 10, 2013 12:54 am

Hullo Sally, and welcome aboard. I must say that already I am very impressed with what you say, mainly because it is so logical and sensible - and totally practical.

We need more 'common sense' these days, and I find it refreshing to absorb your comments, especially regarding the responsibility that we must accept for our own ventures.

I note that you describe some of your strategies as 'tough love'. Makes sense to me.

Your ACT TODAY acronym is fantastic, simply because it is so simple and basic. As owners of small business, we must recognise that it is not rocket science really. (I actually do know a young lady who has recently qualified at Uni as a rocket scientist, so I'm not sure how to advise her!!!)

I'm similarly motivated by your comments about Attitude - or as our US friends say, It's all about Attitood! Whether you're talking psychology, or just sheer personality, we certainly need to recognise our powerful potential to grasp each day with whatever approach we decide to take. I prefer a positive approach, while this does not mean ignoring the challenges we face.

I just wish that more people would adopt your approach!

I look forward to your other comments in coming days.

Geoff
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Re: Welcome Sally Learey - 'Dynamic Problem Solving’

Postby Sally Learey » Fri May 10, 2013 8:00 am

Lovely to hear from you Geoff. I'm glad you are finding my information useful. When we strip it all back, business is about implementing solutions to problems and my aim of course, is to help people do that in a straightforward, practical way.
Have a great day.
Sally :D
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