Creating Events or Solving Problems

Albert Einstein once said, “You cannot solve a problem using the same mindset that created it.”  When leaders attempt to solve problems without changing their thinking, they typically do nothing more than create events.  In their book, Business Think, authors Dave Marcum, Steve Smith, and Mahan Khalsa assert that solutions are nothing more than events unless and until they prevent a problem or invent a solution the organization needs (p. 81).  Too often organizations launch initiatives that drain resources but ultimately do not solve problems or move the organization strategically toward it’s mission.  In essence, they become nothing more than events.  To prevent this, leaders must first define the real problem and get to the root cause by asking two questions: “Is there a problem behind the problem?” and “What hard data (facts and reality) and soft data (feedback and opinions) have we obtained to show evidence of the real problem?”  Events are nothing more than pre-mature solutions and are usually black holes for time, money, and energy.  Are you creating events or solving real problems?