Solve It!

Article | Accountability Insights

by | Jul 7, 2009

As businesses and individuals continue to solve cash flow and other financial problems in these difficult economic times, they inevitably encounter obstacles, both expected and unexpected. Sometimes such problems can cause them to sink Below The Line into the victim cycle. To avoid this, people and organizations must fully commit themselves to stay Above The Line while solving problems, particularly when more unanticipated crises occur. Discovering opportunity in crisis is never easy, but always worth it. Tom Scholl, a venture capitalist in Bethesda, Maryland, helped one of his start-up companies to develop a “stimulus plan” to obtain a piece of the government’s $787 billion stimulus package. After engaging Washington law firms to figure out how to apply for funds, he encouraged another start-up firm to develop “easy-to-prepare” applications for quick filing with the government. Venture capitalists have long prided themselves on not having anything to do with government, but not anymore. Other venture capitalists are now following Scholl’s lead, helping start-ups apply for government funds. Seem odd to you? Of course it does, because it’s new and different. You must think and act differently to find opportunity in crisis. Why? Things often get redefined and reinvented during a major crisis. What are you redefining and reinventing?

Consider these six suggestions for solving difficult problems in the midst of crisis:

1) Stay Engaged. Don’t focus on what can’t be done or stop looking for creative alternatives.
2) Persist. Constantly ask the Solve It question: “What else can I do?”
3) Think Differently. “The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.”—Albert Einstein.
4) Create New Linkages. Forge new relationships that involve others you may not have previously considered.
5) Take the Initiative. Assume full accountability for discovering solutions that will ultimately deliver desired results.
6) Stay Conscious. Overcome the auto-pilot mode and pay attention to everything that may relate to potential solutions, particularly those things that we take for granted or that we have come to accept as “the way we do things around here.”

Stay Above The Line, so you can Solve It.