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Frank Patrick's Focused Performance Business Blog
This Focused Performance Weblog started life as a "business management blog" containing links and commentary related primarily to organizational effectiveness with a "Theory of Constraints" perspective, but is in the process of evolving towards primary content on interactive and mobile marketing. Think of it as about Focusing marketing messages for enhanced Performance. If you are on an archive page, current postings are found here.

Thursday, December 26, 2002

Rumsfeld's Rules -- Enlarging Problems -- The ThoughtsOnBusiness blog recently pointed to a document (pdf) purporting to be a compendium of "rules" for dealing with Washington, attributed to our current Secretary of Defense. Back before I got seriously into blogging, I focused my spare writing time on a series of short pieces useful as columns in local professional society newsletters. One of which, Make Mountains of Molehills, was triggered by a similar reference, and took as a starting point a line about enlarging problems.
"If a problem cannot be solved, enlarge it." -- Dwight D. Eisenhower
This on rang true with me as, the primary analytical process I use -- the Theory of Constraints Thinking Processes provides an approach for doing just that. The definition of problems as dilemmas or conflicts allows a range of seemingly unrelated symptoms (chronic or intractable by themselves) to be grouped and "enlarged" in the search for deeper commonalities and "core conflicts." The focus for solution shifts to this deeper root cause, since 1) if it is not addressed, it will continue to perpetuate and retrigger the symptomatic problems and 2) if it is addressed, it will provide a consistent direction for the solutions of the symptoms.

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