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If You Ask These Questions, You Can Remove Any Obstacle

by The Business Alchemist

in Business Tips

What’s the biggest obstacle to solving any problem ?

How about, the one that isn’t really there ?

This short blog is about how we make life difficult for ourselves and what we can do about it.

We can usually find solutions quite easily to most of the problems that we meet. We only have to decide which one is best. This is only really difficult for us when there is some obstacle – cost, people, time, difficulty, policies – that prevents taking action or will make the situation worse.

We usually assume that the obstacles are real and must think creatively to find a way around them. The common mistake is in fact to accept that an obstacle is real without testing our assumptions.

An example of this was a company that had never made deliveries on a Thursday but nobody in the company knew why. Finally an enterprising manager tracked down an elderly former employee who explained that it was the day they rested the horse.

More recently, I dealt with a company that refused to sell a product because the business manager believed that it would breach an exclusivity contract with a major customer. It turned out that neither company could find a copy of the contract; nobody had ever seen it and the customer had no objection anyway.

The mere belief that the obstacle was too large had prevented any attempt to address it.

Here’s the best way to deal with these barriers to action.
Challenge the assumption that the obstacle exists.

A good tool for this is the 5 Whys approach that I mentioned in my previous article.
Keep asking Why? or Why Not? until you get to the core of the obstacle.
You will then know if it’s real and, if it is, the objections that your solution must address.

List every assumption that’s in the way of action:

  •  It’s impossible because of time and cost
  •  It goes against the rules
  • People will behave in a certain way

It doesn’t matter if the assumption appears true beyond doubt; test it.
You will be surprised how many assumptions are limits that you’ve imposed yourself.

Once the false assumptions are out of the way, you will find lots of new solutions.

If you would like to discuss this subject further, please Contact Me and also receive my report “Ten Practical Tips to Find Original Answers to Any Business Problem”.

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