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How to Implement Quick Fixes and Long-Term Solutions

By Lucy Freedman

There's a kind of either-or thinking that says, if you implement a quick fix, you are sacrificing the long-term solutions that are really necessary. This may be true in some cases. Still, do not be so quick to conclude that we can do nothing of immediate value because of the short-term vs. long-term dilemma.

Quick fixes, especially when aligned with big-picture thinking from time to time, can contribute to the overall solution. Another way to look at quick fixes is as the small steps of incremental change. If we are fortunate enough for small steps to add up to big, beneficial changes; so much the better.

At Syntax, we believe that if there is a will to do something that improves people's skills at working together, take advantage of both small and large opportunities. Building effective organizational culture is not a one-shot deal. Long term initiatives eventually must translate into day-to-day behavior in the present. So there are many moments for learning, moments for making a better connection between team members, moments for clarifying the purpose of something you are working on.

Here are some examples of how quick fixes and long term solutions can play out:

Quick Fixes
Team formation - no time to waste, arrange for a syntax facilitator to sit in and assist with goal setting. Leave-behind: experience with quick and clear goal-setting, mutual understanding of goals. Long term improvement in performance and ability to course-correct from the original plan.

Motivated learner - one team member wants to learn Syntax for career development. This takes time out in the short term, gives short term benefits to the team, and provides long term value to the employee.

Mini-workshops - take a couple of hours and learn and practice a specific communication skill. Air current concerns, boost morale, and demonstrate the importance of communication and learning in the organization's culture. Specific skill ties in with

Long Term Solutions with Continuing Payoffs
For long term investments that reduce the per-incident cost of learning,

• Have intact teams or a subgroup of interested employees attend Syntax together.

• Arrange for a series of follow-up telecoaching calls, and offer one-on-one coaching to those who request it.

• Commit to a time frame of 6 months to 1 year (varies depending on organization size and complexity) during which all five component skill sets of Syntax add up to a consciously competent organization, which can meet customer and stakeholder needs with significantly more reliability.

• Reinforce with mini-workshops or Syntax team facilitation from time to time to include new people and refresh best practices.

• Learn from on-the-job experience and generate new ways to expand and apply the versatile skill sets. Set breakthrough goals and consciously use effective organizational behavior patterns to go for them.

• Measure the results by putting simple reporting processes into place. Celebrate how much human talent is being brought out, increasing productivity while reducing needless stress.

Bottom Line: You DON'T have to choose either-or! Take advantage of both short and long term benefits - whatever the time calls for!
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