I had this very conversation the other day, and it had me thinking about your problem, about how your problem is my problem. This is how all business owners should think really. Now, we are in the midst of an election here in Canada, the best well crafted mud slinging money can buy is making itself known. One thing I can’t fix is, how politicians need to do, how to fix the broken trust constituents have with their MLA’s / political geniuses in their riding.

On May 2nd we will have to vote, I will have to decide which Kool-Aid I’m going to drink, it’s a conundrum. In this country, whomever lies the best gets elected, you can see and feel my lack of trust with that statement can’t you. I have friends on both sides of the fence, we have multiple parties but we really only have two options to vote for. In this situation, your problem is my problem, but I don’t have any control over your problem, I can only vote, and it may not be in the same camp as yours. But enough talk on politics.


The truth is, if you are a business owner, or your part of a business, your problem should be solving my problem and vice versa. We tend to think in terms of dollars and cents most of the time, and we call ourselves by our profession, if you do landscaping, your a landscaper, but I think that’s the wrong view to take.

If you are a landscaper, stop calling yourself one, what you should be is a problem solver, you should be solving a particular problem my yard is having. If you haven’t talked to your potential client yet, survey the land(scape) of that property and find a problem to fix first before contacting them. Find a need, then fill that need. An old small town rule that will continue to work till the death of all mankind.

Once you’ve identified a problem, knock on the door and introduce yourself, share the observed problem, tell them what will happen if they don’t fix it, and that you can fix it for them toot sweet. Your problem is solving my problem, the square dance of business, it’s still the future of business.

As a business owner, are you solving problems? If not, it’s one sure fired way to improve your business, just sayin.

So look at your business today and ask the question, who’s problem am I solving today, and how often can I repeat the process.

Your problem is always solving my problem and vice versa.

listeningDo you work for an organization that has multiple locations and or field staff, and do whatever HQ (the mother ship) tells you to do because that’s the way it is. You have to use their system, which tools to use, and they never ever ask you what you really need to get the job done right. If they do, nothing happens normally and the frustration continues. Are you continually fighting to be heard and have given up because HQ doesn’t seem to be listening?

There has always been a disconnect in most organizations with this kind of structure, mostly because they are out of sight and out of mind. It’s a long distance relationship, these relationships break down quickly and create a lack of trust for the reason’s I mentioned earlier. The key to solving this breakdown takes effort from all parties involved, but in the end, someone from Headquarters must take the time to truly care and put forward solutions for everyone not just HQ. Lip service is a short-term time buyer, but you will lose trust with remote locations and field staff if you don’t deliver, once again you will be part of the problem not the solution. CIO’s & I.T. Leaders must go to the distance, go to the remote offices and take inventory of the desired needs and the requested functionality. Sit down and truly listen so you can get a more accurate picture, this action alone can build trust just because you made the effort to invest in those that feel they’re not being heard.

This is an opportunity, not an opportunity to buy time, get votes or support, but to deliver or you are done. You are fighting politics, which means you must get the popular vote or life gets interesting.To do get the popular vote you must be a person of your word, that’s it! I didn’t say it was going to be easy, it’s the nature of people you are up against. Authoritative attitudes no longer have a place, organizations now are WOM (Word Of Mouth) driven and as you know, it can kill you just as fast as it helps you. As we get more and more connected Headquarters can no longer turn a blind I or just give lip service. Today’s Social Media Networks feed into instant gratification, we have made communication instant, meaning you don’t have the luxury of time anymore. Kill or be killed.

Businesses have a LifeStream and this stream is the tool of choice for the masses to share, to collaborate and make decisions. Beware the LifeStream, be aware that “we the people” are turning the tables, the power is no longer in the hierarchy of organizations…it’s at the ground level. The flattening is happening at a rapid pace all over the world, the Internet is the game changer and the people are not only watching, they are listening, and then they are acting. With this new found power, organizations must become more transparent, deliver on promises, and more importantly, treat staff¬† the same as a valued customer.

So how do you get there, how do you make the shift? Each organization will figure it out in the traditional way before they get it right in a social way, they will deal with the squeaky wheel first before they sit down with the people and truly listen. I would recommend that CEO’s & Presidents instruct their CIO’s to go to the basement and find out what’s NOT working and what IS working, then present the findings to the Executives & Board if necessary. Don’t think in terms of a project or an ERP implementation, think of it as a way of getting your house in order, is the family happy and do they have what they need to ensure your success. The best way to do that is to go to them and ask, otherwise you will hear about it on Twitter, FaceBook and the like, the beginning of the end if your not careful.

The old lesson of STOP, LOOK & LISTEN comes to mind when dealing with your constituents throughout the organization, then add the word DELIVER when you have done the first three.