Spokane Medical Research

Ten Critical Tasks for Managing. Part 1

Filed under: Business — Tags: , , — Rudolph @

As you manage your facility, it may seem that there aren’t enough hours in the day. It is a challenge to stay ahead of everything: Administrative tasks and bookkeeping compete for your time with equipment maintenance and staffing. Managers beyond the ordinary take advantage of the knowledge, experience and creativity of every colleague and employee. They know that they can’t be everywhere and can’t know everything. When you focus on problems with the help of staff members, you get the benefit of seeing things from the perspective of those with experiences completely different from yours. You get new ideas and creative solutions.

How can you gather all of this collective knowledge and experience from your staff? In their book, Managing Beyond the Ordinary, Charles Kepner and Hirotsugu Ikubo have identified what they call “the ten critical tasks.” These are steps that provide a coherent structure for effective collaborative problem-solving.

1. Understand the situation fully and know what’s going on. Your midafternoon aerobics class is not profitable. Attendance is low, and you need to know why more members aren’t attending. Listen with an open mind to every person who might have insight into the situation.

2. Clarify your objectives. Once you have a complete understanding of the problem, you need to ask, “What are we really trying to accomplish?” Not only does this step assure that you don’t fix something that should be discarded, it ensures that everyone is on the same page.

3. Determine what information you need to solve the problem, and the sources of that information. As tempting as it is to call a blanket staff meeting, take a step back and give some serious thought to who has essential input and ask them. Don’t waste everyone’s time asking questions that only a few can answer.

4. Get a complete and accurate picture of the problem. For everyone to work toward a common solution, all members of your team must agree on what’s causing the problem and how to solve it. After the information gathering in step 3, you should have a shared and factual view of the problem.

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