In this part three of our creative problem-solving series, we tackle the potentially tricky task of implementing the solutions we so creatively crafted. Not taking action on a solution is a missed opportunity and a waste of time.
To accomplish the implementation step, there are questions you need to ask to make this successful. For example, do you have the right people in place? Do you have the resources? Is the timing right? How will you sell it to those involved?
This action plan could involve complicated steps over a long period, be a simple plan with steps that incorporate all or some of the questions asked above.
Laugh and learn with us today as we dive into this critical topic. Come away inspired to get creative and tackle your next big challenge!
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Welcome to morning coffee and mimosas. I'm Cristina and I'm Joe. We are a father-daughter duo. We come here Sunday mornings, but you can come here anytime you please. We banter about life, about business and we do it over Coffee and Mimosas
I'll let you go first this morning. We're
back to that. Who's going. First
thing. Yeah, we're back to that a little bit.
can't teach an old dog new tricks, I suppose they say right. Although I have learned from having old dogs now you can sometimes teach them new tricks.
I do have all dogs now, two 10 year old dog.
That's correct. While we are actually in the process of formalizing the adoption, but yes.
taught little Tiffany, the little miniature poodle she's seemed to learn how to take treats. Nice, nice. And, um, Roscoe, we're working on.
We're trying to teach him to stop peeing in the house. Kind of like you
wait, stop. This is getting out of here. And then we're only 1.2, three minutes into this. Is it
that far in already? Yeah, man. Time flies, time flies. I know. Well, you have a you had a very exciting weekend. My parents celebrated their 39th wedding anniversary.
I'm not supposed to. I keep letting the cat out of the bag there because my mother doesn't like when people know the number, because she thinks that people like I'm just about 35 and she's, I don't know. I think she's hoping people think that sh she had me at 10 or something. Yeah.
Well, that's what I say.
It's like a Meritor at seven, . That's very weird. That's what I tell people. So mom's happy,
dad.. All right. Well,
So anyway, you guys celebrated an anniversary this weekend and listeners, if you've been listening along for quite some time, you're going to understand that my dad is in for a little bit of a nightmare this week. Because for their anniversary, he booked a band
gig. Well, it wasn't for my anniversary, June four.
Was my anniversary
and I know listeners, you're like, it's not June 4th. Well, guess what? We recorded this a week ahead of when you're hearing it.
Okay. Okay. That's correct. So, um, and the anniversary happened, but I happened to have had booked a band gig that night. So. She was there and it was a sold-out event outside.
Literally. You couldn't get another reservation at the restaurant at the place. And it's a, it's a restaurant on a golf course and they had no more reservations and it was wonderful. And all her friends came and people we didn't know, and we made an announcement. It turned out to be really nice. However, that doesn't matter to mom because it was that I booked the gig on her anniversary.
So I am going to pay for it for the rest.
At least until the next anniversary. Should you choose to book another band gig? You may be just paying for it in perpetuity, but why don't you tell the listeners a little bit about what your
punishment is? Yeah. So my punishment is because I really hate the beach and don't want to go.
So guess where I'm going to. To the beach. That's correct. So he had tried every creative problem solving tool I could use. But the problem is when you create a problem solving. And in this episode, we're going to talk about how to come up with solutions and then taking action. But you have to have the participation of those that you're coming up with and she was not participating in any of the alternative solutions I
I think that's because your, your mission statement and your purpose statement for her did not resonate. No. So it didn't resonate with your audience and therefore. You got shut down. Yeah. and this is the continuation of the series that we started.
So this is our third episode in our problem solving series. We talked about in the beginning, you know, why it's important. Then we talked about different tools that you can use. And now we're going to talk about, okay, now that we are coming up with solutions, How do we prepare for action and actually take action on that?
hopefully we're not going to have any more riddles that I can't solve on this episode, but in this example, the problem was that you booked a band gig on your anniversary and the solution has become that you now need to take a Monday off of work so that you can take her to the beach.
And there were, there was no creative problem solving involved in this
at all. She solved the problem. She said, okay, fine, fine, sir. That's it spend our anniversary playing, but anyway. Yep. Shall we dig in? We
shall, we shall. But first a little dead joke.
I went down to the paint store to get. It didn't work. All right, let's go.
How many times do we have to tell you how you go about getting thinner?
will just try anything other than
no problem. So I figured, oh, they sell thinner at the paint store. I'll go down there, but it didn't work. I still weigh what
I weigh and listeners, please let us know if you hate these dad jokes or if you love them.
And, he is trying to weasel these into every episode. Do we keep them or do we, do we give them.
And we'll see if I give you the same options that my wife gave me. So we hate them. We hate them. Well, here's another dead joke. I don't want to go to the beach. I don't wanna go to the beach. Oh, we're going to the beach.
But, w you know, we went through a number of techniques. In the last episode, you know, revolving around the brainstorming concept. And, and we talked about some of the things that are criteria for that, that you have to use in order to do it. so, whatever technique you use for, coming up with solutions and, however you come up with them, you're going to come up with a bunch of different ideas and it's very.
then to now, what do you do now? We have a, like a lot, you potentially could have a lot of ideas. And, how do you come up with a solution that will actually work now, obviously when you are working with others or even if it's by yourself, but however you are, whatever your situation is in developing these solutions, you need to start to weed out some of the ones that are completely obvious.
Inappropriate or not by saying inappropriate. I mean, for the, for what you're doing, they
could be inappropriate to be appropriate.
Right. you don't like me proposing doing nothing on Monday except, you know, going into work. It was completely inappropriate to tomorrow that didn't work.
Um, well, and you know, one might think their anniversary was on a Saturday, but.
Celebrate on a Sunday, well that's podcast day. So that wasn't
so basically, basically my lovely wife got boxed out by the band and the podcast, so, oops, sorry. Yeah,
it just so happened that Monday was the nicer beach day for her. So she kind of lucked
out, but yeah. Right. Cause if it was raining, it was going to be raining tomorrow.
It would have been got take off Tuesday or
Wednesday or, yeah, there's probably a lot of women listening to this right now that are just outraged for.
Yes. I'm probably not in very good stead with most people, but whatever. So, I do want to say w you know, we've talked about some tools and I'm just, as it comes to resolving to come up with a solution.
I want to mention a couple of things. One is that I use, Tools. And I'm just going to mention their names, but I'm not, no, they're not. We don't get anything for this, but
yeah, we would like to, but we do not. We don't. So if you're listening, we'll have to tag the companies, but these are, these are authentic.
He really loves these things. We
make nothing. I use a program called mine manager, which is a flowcharting mind map, mind mapping type tool. And I also use a web. Product called Lucifer called lucid charts and, uh, not lucid lucid charts. And, uh, that is a like, if you can't afford or don't want to use physio, it's a web-based tool that will, create, and basically the flow charting, uh, gives you boxes and stuff and you can link them.
Mine manager has. A feature where if you're brainstorming and coming up with ideas, you literally just type the ideas in. And every idea once you hit enter, goes into another, like a box, think of it like an index card. That's your putting index cards. Christina used to use the example of the. You know, these police videos and stuff, where they show you with, putting up you know, like pictures on a, corkboard and so on.
So, all of these are tools where you can get your ideas onto something. And I don't care what that is. You can use index cards, post-it notes, mine manager, lucid charts. But the idea is that you want to get things. Into boxes that you can rearrange and start to organize them so that you start to see patterns or come up with the appropriate solutions and you can evaluate them and link.
Because the solution may not a box may not be one solution. It may be a path to a solution, maybe three or four things, and you want to be able to see the patterns develop well, and
I'll share one that, I've used this tool in collaboration with teams, especially working in virtual environments, because a lot of people are distributed or not in offices together.
So if you're looking for a tool that will help facilitate, you know, a really good brainstorming session, there's a tool called Mero. M I R O. And it really allows you to everybody kind of fills out their sticky notes. You put things down, then you can vote on because that's part of this right. How this typically.
Kind of the flow of it is typically you get the, that dump of ideas down. Then you start to break them into quadrants of, you know, like ideas in different sections. Right. And then kind of paring down. Okay. What are the things that are the same that we've thrown out there? And then, this tool Miro is really great because it allows you to do all of that.
And then it allows, people to vote like, so you can kind of like, you know, just getting consensus of what are the things that most people are drawn to, but it's a pretty cool collaboration tool for, visual,
representation. Yeah. And listen to, as you may have more and there's other things, but it's the idea is.
Use whatever's comfortable for you and works for you or your team. But the idea is that as you've been gathering lots of creative ideas. you need to start eliminating duplicate ideas, eliminating, what may not, you know, literally work out of the box and then start to evaluate and like what bureau allows you to do vote on what might be the appropriate, some of the appropriate paths to.
Well, and, as we're talking about all of this, I think it's, um, many of you, I think dad, you've probably heard of kind of like the three-point action plan for, for problem solving. And all of this goes into, you know, kind of like if you were to bucket the actions that you're taking. Typically they're in three categories, there's preparation, there's implementation, and then there's leading. So actually, executing and kind of the ongoing change management, I guess you would say for that.
So a lot of what we're talking about right now is, you know, the preparation and the thought that has to go into it. And then the action plan is really how are you going to implement. And then the actions that you have to take in order to continue to lead the change forward.
right now, in the coming up with a solution, there's a number of factors.
And again, when I say number of factors, I'm not listing anything out. We're just talking about these. Um, but in order to get an effective action plan in place, the solutions have to be evaluated for a number of things. Cause you may come up with great solutions. Do you have the team to do it? Do you have the expertise to do it?
Do you have the money to do it right? you have the will to do it? You know, sometimes it might be so far a field that, that might be let's do that down the road. Let's take this solution. So when I say evaluate these solutions, they could be like, yeah, we want to get to solutions. But we can't do that this year.
Let's implement this to come up with this problem, this creative problem solving less you know, potentially implement solution a and then work towards B. So that next year we can get to see, you know, to get it going because of money staffing. technical ability. And so on.
I had an interesting conversation with somebody that, um, led an organization that had that produced a product. but it was a creative product. Right. So, There was a change in leadership and he was sharing that, you know, he kind of didn't agree with where the new leadership was going because they wanted to kind of turn their organization into more of a creative agency.
And to, to your point, I think at a high level, that seemed like it would make sense, right? Because there's high billings and creative, so much of what they did was creative and there's certainly a market for creative. And the more upstream you get in a process, you're certainly able to drive more value and less commoditized.
So all of that makes sense. Right. But the interesting thing that he shared was that. yeah. Love all of that. However, when you look at the entire, you know, employee base and the, the skill set that they had within their organization, you know, there was a small fraction of people that were on the present team that would be able to be part of a creative agency.
So as you know, he was looking at. Great aspiration, but the organization we have today, can't get there without completely blowing it up and changing. And that may not be the wrong thing, but it was kind of like not the right thing yet. So you sometimes have to think about what do you have and how much can you change and how quickly,
But in, in the plan list. So if that's where they want to go, then, you know, all right, we need a creative director potentially, you know, and we need. get that person in, develop the staff and continue
to move well. And now you're looking at your staff and you're saying, okay, well who could like stack up and be working in an agency today.
Okay. 10% of our staff that can do that of the rest of it. Maybe we've got 15% of our staff that we think could be trained and, you know, develop the skill set needed in order to kind of work in that world. And then you've got to figure out, you know, how do you kind of level up and get the rest of the, talent that you need, but that might not be like, Problem solving is a time-sensitive thing, right?
Meaning that part of your development of your action plan is setting the time limit or not even time limit, but setting the time plan of when does something have to happen by. So you may have like a, kind of like a roadmap, right? For a problem to be solved that has milestones and many solves along the way that ultimately get to the final, like, this is where we want to be.
Right. So that plan to go from maybe like a product driven organization or even service driven organization. To creative agency that could be a five-year plan. It could be a ten-year plan. Right. Right. And then you've got the different steps for the problem solving along the way.
Right. But if you don't do this process, then you, the, that change in direction will never happen or you
decide that's the direction you want to go.
And then you start to realize, well, oh shit, wait, wait, why isn't this working? Well, it's not working because you don't have any of the right people on the bus in order to drive
it. That's a hundred percent correct. And I have seen this where, okay, we're going to go in that direction, Joe, you're going to head up the creative.
You know, effort to get this done while Joe's not creative, Joe doesn't even know what you know. So Joe struggling, Joe, you know, and then it, it goes off the rails. You know, if you're not, if you're not thinking of all of these things and not that Joe is a bad guy, I love Joe. I might be. But, um, you know, not creative in that.
Creative and other ways or whatever. So anyway, that's a great, that's a fantastic
idea, a big part of just evaluating the different options that you have to solve a problem and, you know, figuring out what is the cadence of what is the cadence and pace that you need to take in order to solve the problem?
Yeah. So that's it, before we move on just, this is completely off topic listeners, but as we're sitting here, my, my watch went off. Right. I've got the apple watch and I looked down and it it's. Joe perfect activity score for the week has been achieved with his stand hours. He is sitting right across from me at our kitchen table here.
So I'm a little perplexed. How he just, I just got a notification that he hit his standout. Do you have like some kind of automation on your, uh, your apple fitness that is
tricking it? Yeah. So here's what I do. Well, first of all, I had a band show Saturday night. I stood. I stood for like four hours playing the guitar and load the car, drive to the event, unload the car, set up.
You got the whole thing. However, listeners, I'll give you my, my little cheat. I don't exercise. So with the apple, which
is why you can understand the dismay when I saw Joe, just that.
Well, I'm going to tell you how you set the goals so low that
Well, I make it so basically standing up to go to the bathroom and come back is.
Pretty much do that five times a week and I'm done
well. We will not do an episode on goal setting any anytime soon. And since now, everybody knows that the trick to hitting your goals is just to set ones that you can't
possibly make. I turned off all those, all those reminders on the watch. I don't even know.
funny. Anyway, anyway, digress.
We shit we share. Yeah, we
share activity. No, but I was just like, I've been sitting across from me for quite some time. So I'm unclear how you just got to stand record achieved. It must. It must.
Yes. That was good. It's you and She's worried about my dad jokes and she went completely off of the mark in my head.
I just saw it as coming up and I'm looking at him like, what are you doing? Are you like raising your arm while we're talking? I didn't see that either. Yeah,
while I was talking, I was fudging the exercise statistics on the fly. Um, excellent points here. And you can see that the solutions and your solutions may be much easier, just which way to go do this, do that or whatever.
So, but regardless you have to create, at this point, now we have to create an action plan. And that action plan, as Christina said, could involve complicated steps over a long period of time, or it could impact. we're just gonna go in a certain direction, but, we have to create those implementation steps.
And in doing that one thing you have to remember again, are what resources will we need in order to take care of it? How long will it take? and this has to be documented and if it involves other people. You have to be able to sell it. And this is going to sound really silly, perhaps, but if your plan is, and I would bet that if you're in business, most of your plans are going to involve your staff or other departments or other people.
you want to be able to sell it, meaning, make sure that you have the. the reason for this and, uh, you know, the way that that you're going to incorporate your people's ability to adapt to whatever change is involved, don't underestimate the fact that not everyone accepts change as easily as others.
And if you know that ahead of time, you have a better success. At getting an action plan put into place. Well, and a
big part of that is understanding who, who really has an impact on yourself. So it may be something that you can do yourself, right? Like, you know, for you, it was the challenge of, you know, booking a show during mom's anniversary.
Well, the solution was you take off work on Monday and take her to the beach, right? For her a bigger problem, right? You may need to solicit a team. You may need to, like, if you were going to do something really special for her, but you realized that that, you know, vendor or the restaurant, her favorite restaurant, you know, maybe you needed to make a special reservation.
Well, they need to be open on Monday then. Right? Like there's things that go into. Whether or not, you, you know, sometimes it's not all on you and you need to solicit the help of other people in order to solve that problem. So I think that's a big piece of it is identifying who is critical in order for you to execute on the action plan and exactly what it is that you need from them and communicating that, communicating it effectively and to your good point, making sure that person really understands why.
Contribution to something is important and why the problem is something that does need to
be solved. Yeah. And, and, and when we say resources, resources is not just money or, or products or, you know, new computers or this or that, but, is training involved, are you going to have to send people to training or are you going to involve other people that may have to train people?
And so on all of this has to be. You know, into consideration for the action plan. And I know that, you know, you may be thinking, well, obviously it's obvious and so on, but believe it or not, it's very easy to say, okay, we've come up with this. Uh, let let's go, you know, do it that that's, it makes all the sense in the world.
Let's do it
well. And that happens a lot. I think it happens at big organizations. It happens all the time. Where people just say go, but things haven't maybe necessarily been as thought through. And that's sometimes when they, some of these solves don't get momentum.
Yeah. Don't get momentum or you don't get buy-in from staff.
And I have said this a million times and I'll say it again. Never consider anyone in your organization. Unimportant enough. Not to. Get speak to them and give them a heads up and let them know why and so on. Because, I have, again in, I have seen this time and again, uh, some of this stuff might be done at a very high level or fairly high level in an organization, but the execution of it may involve.
And very often involves the people who are actually talking to the customer or doing the manufacturing or you follow. Um, and if you don't include them, if you don't prepare for that meeting and whether it's you yourself or through their, you know, the, your managers and so on. it could fall off the rails, right?
Where the rubber meets the road, I E in the manufacturing facility, in the creative department, talking to the customer So the action plan has to be well thought out. Also not rocket science, not even hard, just planned out.
You agree? Of course. I agree. Of course, of course. No, I, I very much agree.
good. So, um, what'd you want to add to that?
I don't know.
No, I mean, I,
the fact that I met my stand gold, gold, get a gold medal.
Um, no, I mean, it's, it's the truth, right? Like this is why sometimes. we all have had things that were like, okay, that makes sense. But you just don't see things get off the ground. And I think oftentimes that's why, so such a big part of the action plan is, you know, just figuring out who are the people that need to be involved in solving this problem.
Right. Making sure that they fully understand why it's a problem, how it impacts them, if it impacts them. Why the work that they're doing is important and also, what you need them to do. And by when, and it's also good to know, like the implication of that by when, right? cause some, deadlines are self imposed.
Right. But some deadlines there's reality too. Right. Like, and I think it's, it's helpful for people to understand that because there's, there's things that sometimes we don't know that it's like, okay. if we don't hit the timeframe, then we get billed for another year. if we don't hit that milestone, well, then that pushes something else back.
Sometimes those dates are arbitrary and they're just thrown out there because we'd like to have something done by a certain time. But I think that's also like in solving a problem, it's also helpful for you to know the things that are kind of like hard dates and the things that are softer dates so that you kind of, you know, people can kind of understand, like there are major implications.
You know, delivering.
Yeah, exactly. What else are we good? No, I think we got that. So you've got to take action, which is, you know, you said that last week and it's absolute truth. So at the end of the day, take
because all of this creative problem solving as we wrap, we're wrapping this up, all the creative problem, solving in the world, coming up with great solutions and great, you know, all this great.
If you don't execute at something, meaning that you may not know whether this is the perfect plan you've done. The best you can take. Action. Taking action itself will create its own change in that action plan as you go down the road. But if you don't do any.
Exactly. And this is an ever evolving process.
So problem solving much like continuous improvement and everything else. there's always going to be another problem to solve. And once you think you've solved it, the situation will change a little bit and there'll be more to solve.
So when that action plan is. It's not in concrete, it's not etched in stone.
It is, it has to be monitored also. And don't, critique the people who come to you and say, I think we have a problem here on this aspect. Listen to that and listen to them and see if, if that has to be altered, it may be faster, maybe slower than what you thought. But
yeah, your action plan is an opportunity to put this, this solution in a pressure cooker and figure out like, does this, is this going to work?
What am I missing? What are the things that, what are the blind spots so that you make sure that you've kind of seen, okay, what are the different things that can happen? And then when things are going to come up, that you can't plan for that is inevitable, but at least, you know, you've kind of tried to figure out as many of the fail points as possible.
So dad, next year, when you get a band gig, inevitably on June 4th on your anniversary, but this band gig, you are not allowed to bring mom too, and you're not allowed to have her invite all of her friends to actually celebrate the anniversary together. That will be the change in the environment that we're going to have to find a new self.
All right. So we have an action plan now. That's correct. Right. What do you do then? Do you have to take her away for a whole weekend? Then that impacts our podcasts.
Like we've got it going to be 40 years. So you better be thinking of how you're going to help us celebrate
that might be a vacation away. So you're going to have to clear the band schedule
Alright, so we're on that. So thank you, Lisa.
We record listeners, Joe Graziano, maybe out of the doghouse.
And I'll have a tan you'll never see.
You will be burned. You don't tan.
listeners, if you liked what you've heard, please drop us a note. Subscribe, leave us a review. And if you have a problem that we can solve, send it in.
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wherever you are. Whatever your story. Thanks for spending time with us this morning. Go and make a difference in your world.
I hear there's a rumor that you want to change this.
No, our executive editor, once since you make a couple changes of the intro and maybe have you record something new,
maybe something new, maybe
you all have a great week, everyone.