Whatever your big problem is, find a half-day or day to really work on it. Take apart the issue long enough to understand what it is; this is key to building the solution. Bring together your best talent. Why together? Because it is easy to blow off one person at a time, but tiger teams allow for questioning, and debate, and the elimination of options that aren’t quite right. It holds you more accountable, too.
- Define the problem. Name it clearly and the consequence of the problem on the business. Like the great myths of olden times, where dragons lost their power because we could name them, problems become solvable when we name them out loud.
- Organize dedicated time to work on the issue. No blackberries, or “parallel processing” cause full brainpower is needed. We are thinking together which means being present together. Take 30 minute email breaks to give people a chance to have their email time. Do it in a neutral, new location. Borrow someone else’s office space (and let them borrow yours).
- Figure out if you need 4 hours, 8 or multiple days. But set a limit. A time constraint enables a certain kind of creative tension. Having an overnight break gives some stewing time that always bears fruit.
- Bring in help. Advisors, People from other divisions, Board Members, Peer Tiger Teams — get people who want you to be successful and ask them to come help. They will. And they will challenge your status quo thinking or assumptions that are limiting your frame of reference.
- Don’t keep “hoping” that problem will get solved while you are hiring more people and addressing today’s issues. That killer issue will still be there until you get to it.