“It isn’t that they can’t see the solution; it’s that they can’t see the problem.”
– G.K. Chesterton
Boy did ol’ Ches hit the nail on the head with this one.
No one’s ever called me and said, “Lee, I’m going to have a problem three weeks from Thursday.”
It’s not that people don’t know three weeks prior to a crisis that they’re going to have an issue, but they don’t perceive the problem as substantial enough to call me in soon enough. Sure, their issue seems like a problem, but if people thought that the problem would turn into the crisis it would, I think they’d dig my card out of the Roll-A-Dex earlier (continuing to use a Roll-A-Dex may be indicative of another problem in your business…).
At that point, knowing the solution isn’t the issue – I can figure out the solution. What I need people to see is the problem they have, and more specifically, its magnitude.
You can’t resolve anything if you haven’t clearly identified the problem.
Have you ever waited too long to resolve a problem? What was it and what did you do?