To Increase Productivity Corporate Africa Needs To Look For Problems

To Increase Productivity Corporate Africa Needs To Look For Problems

Productivity is calculated by dividing each country’s GDP by the average number of hours worked annually by all employed citizens. In my opinion, country productivity simply means the financial evidence for problems solved by business communities over a period of time. According to a 2018 report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, businesses in the African continent are among the lowest ranked when it comes to productivity. This means corporate Africa needs to solve problems that matter. In each firm, the chief executive officer is the chief problem solver for customers and the firm. In every enterprise, problems are resolved at a different level. The man at the gate solves the problem of parking and watches out for thieves and intruders. The chief operating officer solves the problems of disorder and inefficiency. The ability of a leader to recognize that everybody in any enterprise has the capability to solve a problem makes the business system efficient and productive. When a leader believes he is the only one who can solve all problems at every level of an organization, it only wastes the corporate potential. Everybody in an organization has the potential to solve challenges. Problems are facts of every business because we live in an imperfect world. For winning enterprises, tests are stepping-stones to maturity and productivity. There are two perspectives to a problem that will put firms in the winning mode. It is important to be reminded that an outstanding person is the one who resolves an outstanding problem. Can you think of an outstanding billionaire who didn’t resolve an outstanding problem? I believe there is none. I think a team’s attitude should be focussed on solving an outstanding issue for all humanity. That is what Larry Page and his team have done by creating Google. They solved the global problem of searching for information at the click of a mouse. Secondly, problem-solving is the quickest route to leadership. In every society, people fall into two categories of problems; those who create them and those that solve them. As an entrepreneur, you will be rewarded based the degree of problems you solve, not the ones you create. As a team member, when you solve a problem beyond your current job description, you are likely ready for a promotion. Thirdly, the capacity of the entrepreneur is more important than the size of the problem. The problem is the self-image of the person. This means an entrepreneur will not take on activities on the outside that he or she is not capable of on the inside. These three attitudes mentioned above are important for any firm to create a winning team. Let me quickly say that it is only effective when a business leader helps his or her associates and team members develop this attitude. When they express these attitudes, they solve challenges with you in the enterprise. Don’t be caught by the ‘Moses syndrome’, because you cannot solve every problem in your enterprise by yourself. Problem-solving is first an attitude and then a technical skill. Now let me share with you a few technical skills that are applicable to problem-solving. The first step would be to erect a business thermometer to identify the issue. Focus on vital aspects such as finance, sales, marketing, customer satisfaction, employee performances, and turnover rate. You need to look for an anomaly in the vital signs before you can identify the threat and knock it off. Secondly, prioritize the problem and identify the most important and urgent of them and attend to it. The problem can be important, important and urgent, or urgent and unimportant. You must be able to place it in the appropriate category. You will need to dig around the it to define the real issue. If the sales are poor and it is an important and urgent concern on your priority list, the next thing is to dig around it and define the elements of the problem, both internal and external. Thereafter, select a project team to solve the contingency. Whether it is to be solved in two hours, two days, two months or two years, call the project team and give them responsibilities within a space of time to solve it. Finally, select the best solution and create a policy. Look at all recommended solutions to the problem and select the best that suits it. Evaluate the solution appropriately and set up a policy that can guide against the recurring of the problem in the future. -Victor Mamora

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