The problem can be the solution when deployed differently

When the work gets tough, our CEO orders in takeaway. Except this week the burgers were late. I won’t name and shame the delivery app (but let’s just say it was Uber annoying.) Having a seven-week-old at home in the arms of Mrs Lissaman – a new mum ready to hand her over when I get home (or several hours earlier), an hour’s delay can seem like an eternity. When the burgers arrived I stashed it into my rucksack and bolted for the next train (where I could be that guy stinking out the carriage).

I’d need something to take home by way of apology to my wife…

Then I had the realisation… take the burger.

The problem was the solution.

Problem: Stayed to get a burger.

Solution: Stayed to get a burger.

Arriving home late and saying “I stayed to get a burger,” is a sure-fire way to end up in the dog house. Yet “I stayed to get you a burger,” might even win a little credit, even if I had to cook something up for myself later. The only difference was deployment.

It’s made me wonder… How often could our problems be our solutions if deployed differently?

Take my Friday workload. It was heavy, but mainly because I’d taken our daughter for her first swim at lunchtime. Anyone can tell you that a swim should only take an hour, but any parent can tell you that the laws of parenting mean you can safely double that amount of time with a baby.

Taking a near-three hour lunch break gave me a problem. I’d need to work late. Yet due to some last minute client requests (which we pride ourselves on our ability to handle) the team needed some late-in-the-day work.

Problem: I need to work late.

Solution: I’m available to work late!

Team members who are underperforming in one area could be the key to that gap in the team. Deploy them differently.

When we have loads of work that needs to be delegating it can feel like a problem. Yet, work delegated to our colleagues is what keeps them in a job, gives them purpose and helps them develop.

The problem could be the solution when deployed differently.