Solutions not Problems

I want solutions, not problems (stamps foot)!

How many times have you heard or been told: “Don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions!”?

I’ve been told this by some managers and have heard lots of other managers say something similar.

Forbes even recently posted an article about it (read it here).

I have a few problems with this often-used concept.

Firstly, time and time again, I see people attempting to fix a problem without really understanding what the problem is. And if you don’t understand the problem, you are unlikely to properly fix it, or come up with the best solution.

Secondly, it applies that your Manager (or the management team) shouldn’t be a part of this process. The Forbes article cites a rather obvious 8-step approach of which the 8th step is to meet with your boss (but don’t meet them without doing everything first).

I’m not sure this is right.

Surely the Manager is the Manager because they have a wealth of knowledge and experience and may just be able to add something to the discussion?

I’d prefer the conversation to go like this:

I think we could all benefit from taking time to truly understand the problem before racing off to find a solution.

What do you think? Should you only ever bring your Manager a solution? Or should you take the time to discuss the problem with them?