It is essential to process information quickly and make fast and effective decisions. JLBC Cadets look at all the real evidence, evaluate all the alternatives, interpret the data, prioritize and form a judgment that delivers the most effective real solution in the quickest time possible. Even when time is limited and they do not have all the information they would like, good leaders usually know when they can take a strategic risk and decide.
One of the most exciting challenges associated with problem-solving is determining the real cause of the problem. Often what appears to be the problem is not the actual cause. Analyzing the root cause of a problem requires thoughtful investigation and questioning.
Why did the equipment fail? Because it overheated.
Why did it overheat? Because the cooling fan failed. Because regular servicing was missed.
Why did the cooling fan fail? Because we use a paper tracking system, it fell through the cracks.
Why was the servicing missed? Because our maintenance guy is not great with computers.
Why don’t we have an automated preventative maintenance system?
This simple example demonstrates that the issue would re-occur if the team just replaced the cooling fan. They are continuing to ask why exposes that there is a deeper issue at work here that relates to a process failure and a training gap. Leaders using this simple process need to be careful not to turn it into the Who’s and unwittingly create a culture of blaming.