Proactive management solves problems before they become big.
If you are like most leaders, you don't look for trouble. But maybe you should. With the pressure and over-commitment executives and managers contend with every day, few are anxious to find additional problems to solve. Many issues do not get attention until they are too big to ignore. But by then, they are also much harder to address, requiring more time, resources and organizational bandwidth.
Seeking out problems when they are small is much more efficient, and it enables you to focus on top priorities. Here are a few suggestions:
- Implement a "preventive management" initiative in your organization.
- Proactively check potential problem areas on a regular basis.
- Encourage employees to report problems, not hide them, as often occurs.
- Offer incentives to workers for identifying problems and their solutions.
- Create multiple, easy ways for problems to be reported.
- Communicate successes, with credit where credit is due.
A fundamental truth of management is that problems will expand to fill the space allowed. Limiting their ability to grow will avoid trouble before it occurs and make you a more effective leader.