Underwear Fires and Systems Solutions

I read with interest proposed solutions to the systems breakdowns that resulted in the Christmas Day securitynetwork breach when a Nigerian man in a database of possible terrorists flew into Detroit allegedly with concealed explosives and the intent to blow up a Delta airliner. I heard President Obama on national news last night say there was a failure to connect the dots and use the information they had. As someone who has worked in and studied bureaucracies I know system coordination, integration and streamlining isn’t easy. And having designed systems I know doing the upfront, nitty-gritty analysis to identify and solve the real problem isn’t always fun.Read More

When a problem occurs in any business it’s natural to want a quick fix. Failure makes us all ill-at-ease and insecure and we don’t like to feel that way. But a knee-jerk reaction may not be the best solution.

How many of us have worked in organizations where a co-worker violated a policy, like a Work at Home program, and the solution was to cancel the whole thing (maybe to the detriment of the organization because other workers’ productivity was skyrocketing)? Or invoices buried on an accountant’s desk impacted the company’s bottom line so everyone had to adhere to a new processing procedure (one that messed things up for the majority of accountants who already had streamlined procedures in place).

Before full body scans at airports become a reality because someone on a plane tried to light their underwear on fire I hope the powers at be continue the heavy duty analysis to identify underlying problems so real solutions are implemented. And, unintended consequences are considered and kept at a minimum.

The first of the year is a good time to review your procedures to tweak and adjust your systems to find those out-of-the-box business streamlining solutions that make achievement of your goals simpler and your life much easier. See my Business Streamlining offer.

Have a comment or question about systems, breakdowns, improvements or a funny story about a crazy solution? I’d love to hear from you.

Linda Hardenstein, MPA, PCC gets busy people out of overwhelm and into greater productivity, profitability and balance. She designs innovative systems and solutions for individuals who are ready to achieve breakthroughs and find fulfillment in their careers, retirement and life.