Identify What Needs to Be Fixed

Identify What Needs to Be Fixed


How do you “Identify What Needs to Be Fixed” when you must turn around a failing organization? Previously, I reviewed the introduction of “The Packer Way” by Ron Wolf. This blog contains a review of the next chapter of the book, “Stepping Stone #1: Identify What Needs to be Fixed”.  Ron Wolf begins by explaining that they improved the Packers organization by watching, studying, talking, and analyzing. In his first days with Green Bay, he refrained from initiating dramatic change, held off on making important decisions, and avoided presenting any earth-shattering announcements or speeches.

What Needs to Be Fixed? Take Your Time & Learn Before Acting

When you want to improve an organization, you may be tempted to come in “gangbusters”. But, often you must spend your time, at least initially, searching for understanding.Wolf begins the chapter by explaining the Packers’ poor track record. He said, “Something obviously needed to be resolved—this much failure over so many years is symptomatic of major organizational difficulties that can’t be fixed with Band-Aids…it would be counterproductive for me to already have a blueprint in mind before I thoroughly understood the current situation.”

You may feel a lot of pressure to speed up the process, to quickly demonstrate your managerial skills. But, before offering solutions, you must identify what needs to be fixed. Wolf created his action plan only after a methodical analysis of the entire Packer operation. This led to a clear picture of the people and the culture. Wolf conducted his study of the Packers organization by researching every level–from the support staff and scouts to the players and coaches. Resist the temptation to become an instant hero by arriving at hasty solutions. In his words, “make this a marathon (not) a sprint.”


What Needs to Be Fixed? Ask Questions

Wolf goes on to say that he discovered much of what he needed to know by asking questions. Too often, we think we know the answers so we don’t ask questions. This is a sign of someone who has a “know-it-all” attitude. It leads to ineffective efforts, sometimes even complete failure. When people are promoted, for example, they gain power and start believing they are too smart to ask questions or seek help. After all, isn’t this why they hired me?! Why else did they like me so much? As the ego grows, the desire to learn diminishes.

Some people fail to ask questions because they don’t want to hear the answers. Will people disagree with me? Will they be critical of something I’ve done? Instead of listening, these leaders talk, impressing us with their knowledge and emphasizing  how important they are. If you don’t ask (and listen to what you are told), you can’t learn. You can’t be afraid of being told that you are wrong. You may not always hear all positive feedback. But, asking questions gives you an opportunity to gain new ideas and new approaches. Somebody might just offer you something you haven’t considered.

What Needs to Be Fixed? Determine People’s Strengths & Put Them in the Right Position

Lastly, Wolf suggests that you provide people opportunities to demonstrate their abilities, talents, and strengths. For example, if you have a good detail person who doesn’t have an engaging personality, don’t place that person in a job that deals constantly with the public! And, stop rewarding star employees with promotions to leadership positions even though they have no leadership skills. Your best salesman doesn’t always make the best sales manager. Assume that your employees are excellent in something that can make your organization better. Determine what that “something” is, (their strengths) and put them in the right position, where they can embrace their strengths and overcome their weaknesses.

For this reason, I go into companies and administer the StrengthsFinder and DISC behavioral assessments. The DISC assessment, for instance, helps you understand yourself and others so you can adjust your behaviors according to others’ behavioral styles. You not only learn and accept your unique strengths and areas of development, but you can modify your behaviors so you can be more successful working/living with others. If interested in these behavioral assessments, please contact me at 920-246-8204 or

Barbara Jordan, 
Author, Trainer/Facilitator, Executive Coach

LPI (Leadership Practices Inventory) Certified Coach

DISC Certified Behavior Analyst

AdvantEdge Success Coaching & Training

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