Monday, January 5, 2015

Is Problem Solving your Ambition?

In his blog this month, ASQ CEO, Bill Troy asks whether "Quality" is ambitious enough in terms of its goals and aspirations as a business discipline. 

To me, one of the greatest assets in business (and in life for that matter) is the ability to solve problems.  It really doesn't matter what industry you find yourself in or what product you sell... your organization is going to face new challenges on a daily basis.  Problems take many forms: declining revenue, new competitors, scaling for growth, evolving customer behaviors, employee engagement, you name it!

My dad used to always tell me, "as long as you're somebody that can solve problems, you'll always have a place in this world".  And let's not get this confused with what I call "problem finding"... we've all encountered that person with the "PhD" in problem finding... they're the one that can always tell you what's wrong with the world, or why a new idea won't work... with no real clue on what will.  With all due respect, problem finding is the easy part and way overrated.  The true value is finding the root cause, and more importantly, how to solve it.

Fortunately for Quality professionals, this is what we strive to do for a living.  The "Quality" discipline provides a structured set of tools, methodologies, and strategies for tackling virtually any type of complex problem.  But it also takes a certain type of willingness to persevere in the face of endless obstacles. 

So ask yourself, when a new problem emerges... who gets that call?  Is it you?  That should be the "ambition" for all business professionals... be the one that gets the call!  Demonstrate, through your results, that you have the capability and willingness to tackle any challenge, no matter how daunting.

Make problem solving your ambition!

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