Solving the problem
Solving "the" problem is never easy, mainly because no one knows what the problem is. I think there are several problems that are happening in Corporate America right now, and several that are happening across the nation also. Now, let's start with the easily identified problem, lack of financial awareness. There are companies that spend millions of dollars on software projects and repeatedly come back for maintenance of those projects. Now, I know consultants are going, YES, and that is how I make my living. It goes back to the "give someone a fish they eat for a day, teach them to fish, they eat for a lifetime". What I find interesting in that problem is people don't want to learn how to fish, but rather just buy the fish over and over again.
How you can solve your own problem without paying someone else to do it?
I worked with a client once that I told them I could teach them how to do the website they want themselves in about 3 hours and they will be able to update it all they want without having to pay me after that. They said they didn't want to and so I charged them a lot of money and then 3 times after that for quick fixes they could have done themselves. So the first problem, may not be a problem, but a benefit for freelancers out there.
How much are you currently spending that you could be saving by learning a new skill?
This is always a tough question for people to answer. It is usually because they are unfamiliar with what they need to learn. Some tasks seem overwhelming. Creating a new website from scratch sounds crazy for some, but with wix, squarespace, and others like that out there, it really takes minutes to create a new site.
I was really surprised when I came across this: Startup Framework . Which will takes even less time to create a new landing page for your new company.
You need to figure out what you are currently spending on services and see if you can hire someone permanently to be your go to tech person rather than a contractor here and there. It is amazing when you write it down and see what you are spending. I have helped a few companies identify that and they were in awe of what they were spending even when they had an in-house developer that they were already paying!
What is your actual problem you are trying to solve?
I love learning about company's review processes and how employees illustrate how amazing they are for the review. What really is your problem you are solving though? Are you trying to retain employees? Are you trying to create a better battery? Are you developing a new breakthrough medicine? What really are you solving? From an employee level, they are often asked about their goals and how they plan to achieve their goals. Imagine if an employee was actually honest about that? I would like to triple my salary, own two houses, and have my children's college covered. I would love to see a manager's reaction to that. Your goals must align with a project, a team goal, or a company goal. But those aren't MY goals. ;-) Figure out what your problem is and then you can start planning on solving it.
What tools do you already have that can be leveraged to solve that problem?
You may already have a tool belt full of skills. You just aren't sure how they apply to your current problem. That is where outside perspectives really help. You have blinders on because you have done the same thing for so long, you can't see how it can be any different. Ask for help on ideas on how you can apply certain tools you have. There is a catch here, when you ask for help, listen, do not defend your perspective, do not argue, simply listen to their ideas. That is really difficult for some.
Listen to the advice you have asked for!
Pay attention, I did not say follow the advice, but definitely listen to it. Think about why they are suggesting something you didn't think of. What were you missing? Why were you not able to see it? What if they are right? What if they know more than you? Just consider it.
I will have more about the other problems later, but for now, that should be enough to get started on improving your own process and getting to the next level.
Let me know what you think and what is your current problem?