Doers Focus On The Future

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Typically, there is a lot more information about what went wrong than there is about what needs to be done differently. The past is known and therefore much easier to recount. Spending too much time on the past is distractive unless the results can be used to positively impact what happens in the future.

Unfortunately, the past is well known and therefore much easier to recount and discuss. The future hasn’t yet happened and is therefore difficult to talk about in measurable terms. For these reasons, you may need to take a more active role in getting your people to think about making changes rather than dwelling on the past.

One way to affect this shift is to preface your focus questions with now, followed by how? For example, now that we know why the order was late, how do we ensure it arrives on time in the future?

Like many new processes, this one takes some getting used to – especially the awkward use of Now, How. The reason it works is not clear, but it does help people to stay focused on future improvements instead of dwelling on past mistakes.

Your ultimate objective in applying this process is to gain a better understanding, awareness and perspective of the problem and how it should be solved. Solving problems using the now-how question is far more practical than calling a team meeting and slogging your way through a lengthy agenda.

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