"Problems are opportunities in work clothes". Henry J Kaiser, American industrialist
"I proceed with a courageous and honest analysis of situation. Then I determine what worst consequences of my failure could be. After imagining most disastrous consequences that could result, I resign myself to accept them in case it becomes necessary. From that moment on, I concentrate all my time and energy to looking for ways that could alleviate consequences which, mentally, I have already accepted". Dale Carnegie, American orator
Problems: You either love 'em or hate 'em. For some they represent a challenge, something from which to learn. For others problems are beginning of end, a reason to 'down tools' for day. This is what distinguishes winners from losers, business successes from failures.
Positive thinkers act in a similar way to Carnegie, namely recognising that a problem exists, understanding possible consequences, anticipating worst possible scenario, and formulating their objectives on this.
Recognising That a Problem Exists
All problems share one characteristic. All are deviations from norm. For example, where your average/anticipated sales during a given period are Ј200, you have a potential problem where actual sales are significantly less.
All successful businesses set standards. The first step towards solving problems presupposes that you have determined measurable standards against which to measure progress and performance. From this, you periodically compare actual against projected performance. This is best achieved as a team exercise, including management and staff, as appropriate.
Analysing Problem: Defining its Scope
Here you are locating and determining extent of your problem, deciding whether it has short-term or long-term consequences. A well-defined problem is almost solved and frequently solution is obvious. A useful tip is to draw up a 'Problem Analysis Worksheet', including vertical columns where aspects of problem can be recorded: what problem is, who was responsible for it, when it occurred, what its consequences might be, what ideal situation would be (your objectives), how serious problem is, and so on. Having considered all aspects of problem, as a team, group then lists possible solutions.
Focus on Objectives: Classify these as 'Essential' or 'Desirable'
Your objectives are results you want to achieve, your ideal situation. These should be listed as 'essential' or 'desirable'.