29. 07. 2022

Finding solutions? Its like a jigsaw puzzle

I tend to click on my news App first thing in the morning and click away having read a dozen issues. So where are the solutions? Are they perceived as too positive for the reader to sell stories? I have learnt a lot about problem-solving over the past year, professionally and personally, there have been plenty of issues to overcome. Similar to a jigsaw puzzle which are made up of many pieces which can be hard to decipher, so how do we find clarity and the end solution?

Last Thursday evening, I was in London attending a belated anniversary theatre trip. We were running late (as usual) because I was finishing up on a work call (as usual) but we still should have had ample time to grab a quick dinner and head to the show. When we got to the restaurant which didn’t take bookings, the queue was huge and there was no chance of a table. Tables were free elsewhere but since we hadn’t booked and chefs are seemingly in short supply, there were no other options. My “hangry” husband decided it was chocolate for dinner, but I knew I needed to find a better solution to save the evening. My idea was simple…the same food but takeaway. We stood outside our original restaurant of choice, ordered online, found somewhere nice to sit and collected our food piping hot 20 minutes later. A happy husband, no service charge needed and plenty of time to get to the theatre. Was it the perfect solution? No. Was it the best solution at that moment in time and did it fix the problem? Yes. Did we enjoy our evening to the same level as we would have done at a restaurant? Yes.

I know we can’t apply such simplistic fixes to more important issues, however, sometimes thinking around a problem and coming up with a solution which isn’t perfect, but which works is enough. We are surrounded by news about the cost-of-living crisis, staff shortages, Brexit impacting supply chain, people burning out, 1 million potential employees leaving the workforce completely…. Whilst these issues are very real and can’t be solved overnight, maybe there are some simple solutions which could help. For example, hard to fill roles could be converted to job shares to ease the pressure, after all there is a massive pool of high calibre candidates who are keen work but for one reason or another, full-time hours just don’t fit. I am not suggesting employees coming and going as they please or zero-hour contracts for all. Strangely enough, as I was writing this, I spoke with a candidate who has decided to return to studying and is now looking for slightly reduced hours for the next 5 years. A potential employer would gain excellent stability, almost full-time hours and a wealth of experience.

So if we can ignore some of the noise which surrounds us, and, like a jigsaw, are able to tackle each smaller issue in a simple, methodical way, we may just uncover the bigger picture more quickly!

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