by Joe Wichowski, president and founder of Wixom-based Traction Consulting Group, EBIZ Technology
We’ve all had it before. Something happens at the office, “The Event” – a customer has a complaint, a project gets off track, or employees aren’t getting along because “so-and-so said such-and-such.”
As an entrepreneur, I believe that my teams’ healthy reaction to these events is critical to the success of our company. These events need to be self-healing, self-resolving. I cannot ignore them, yet I cannot be the person to drive the change necessary when they come up.
Recently, John Drury, from The Inside Out Edge (insideoutedge.com), provided me with a tool that I found extremely useful in helping my team understand the Event process, and how best to skip the drama and get to the Work that will truly resolve the Event.
Essentially, around everything we do, there is an inevitable "Event". This could be a project that is not being delivered up to standards, a customer complaint, co-worker’s not working together, and so on.
The Event almost always leads to the "Reaction" – complaining, explaining, criticizing, blaming – none of which is healthy or helpful. The Drift of this Reaction takes us away from something that can truly help resolve the Event – documenting “why”, improving on the process, and moving forward.
Although it is difficult to totally eliminate the Reaction phase, I believe it is possible for teams to “squash” it, and instead quickly get to the "Learning" phase - the place where we are open to the information the Event is telling us. It allows us to get as much data as possible, and process it, in order to move on to the most important part - the "High Impact Work". The Work is the place where we actually make the improvement, on behalf of ourselves, our customers, and our co-workers.
I think it has great implications in our everyday work environments. I have coached my team to use this tool anytime they identify an event occurring – to be aware of it, and learn from it quickly. It is posted in everyone’s work-cube; it is reviewed at every project closure meeting. I feel it gives my team a good process to focus on what is truly important when an Event occurs within my company, and allows us to rapidly get to The Work, for the benefit of our customers and our work environment.
Joe Wichowski is President and Founder of Traction Consulting Group (formerly EBIZ Technology) – www.tractioncg.com. Traction CG provides Mentoring, Training, Development, and Support services for clients looking to “Get More” from their Sales, Service, and Customer Relationship Management processes.