How Innovative Are You in Solving Persistent Problems?

Notice what actions you take when you have misplaced your keys. Notice how you tend to go back and look in the same place over and over. Normally, those actions don’t solve the problem. It isn’t until you stop and think that you remember where you set them down. We discussed that problem in an earlier post.

Now notice the pain that persists in the COVID 19 shutdown. Some are laid off and suffering the economic pain. Others are overworked medical professionals and suffering physical pain of exhaustion. Many are suffering the psychological pain, worried they will contract COVID 19. Some are suffering the family pain from losing someone they loved. Overcoming any of thee pains requires that we think bigger, reach higher, and do what seems impossible.

Murfield International, Inc. works to solve five significant problems with innovative thinking. That is the key, innovative thinking. Notice each of the five problems listed below. Now think about how you try to solve each of them.

  1. Disengaged Employees.
  2. Failing to Anticipate Disruptive Trends.
  3. Working Through Employee Trauma.
  4. Minimizing Poor Communication.
  5. Leveraging the Unique Value of Business and Individuals
Murfield International, Inc. works to solve five significant problems with innovative thinking.  That is the key, innovative thinking. Notice each of the five problems listed below. Now think about how you try to solve each of them.

The Problem – Their Pain

These five problems all come down to two core issues. First, someone is in pain and second, someone needs compassion to resolve their pain

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

Thomas Edison
  1. Disengaged and distracted employees are hurting and that disengagement hurts the business by damaging performance, production and profits. Currently, productivity is already suffering by working from home, other family members working from home, and children home from school. Leaders may want to blame it on lazy workers but, when we express compassion by noticing their pain, feeling for them from their perspective, thinking of ways we can help alleviate that pain and then taking that action, we may just find the solution.

2. We are in a temporary transition to the New Normal. We didn’t see this coming and were not prepared. Failing to anticipate disruptive trends leaves many looking for jobs without the skills or mindset to step into good jobs. Some give up too easily and claim we need another stimulus or even guaranteed national income. The challenge of that pivot may be overwhelming for many. Within that trend, many will struggle to adjust. Compassion, especially noticing and feeling their pain, is critical for maintaining and building success in the New Normal.

3. The COVID 19 shutdown has traumatized many employees, managers, and business owners. Trauma is extreme pain that knocks us to our knees and onto our back. We are stunned and temporarily paralyzed. We don’t know how to proceed. We may not know if we want to go on. Without compassion, life is incredibly difficult. As we have heard on the commercials, we are in this together. The entire world is affected. To get through, we must think differently than we did before.

4. Poor communication costs billions of dollars every year when someone doesn’t do what the other person thought they said. Communication issues are exasperated during COVID 19 when most everyone is working remotely. Compassionate communication focuses on listening and willingness to understand the other person’s perspective. .

5. Even before COVID 19 shutdown, 70% of workers were disengaged. Why? One reason is that leaders don’t fully appreciate the unique value of each team member. Is there any wonder why most workers don’t appreciate their own unique value? Dig deeper and can find that many if not most small businesses don’t appreciate why they are uniquely valuable to their customers. Then mix in the the layoffs and business closings. Many do not know how they are valuable outside of their assigned duties. This is a time to discover our unique value. That takes compassion, not competition.

From a business perspective, when leaders care to notice the pain, they find opportunities to unleash the ultimate performance, production and profits. That is why we argue that compassion is the best business strategy and practice.

We agree with Thomas Edison. We need to change our thinking to make a successful transition to the New Normal.

Innovative Thinking

Unfortunately, COVID 19 will change our world whether we like it or not. These “economic earthquakes” will reduce some businesses to rubble. It will change the way we do business and how we live. We won’t simply reopen the economy but need to reinvent it. The New Normal began with a sudden shock, a quake followed by many aftershocks of losing beloved stores, restaurants, and habits. At this point, we don’t know when the quakes will end. But we do know the New Normal will be drastically different from the past.

The New Normal will see an increase in virtual work, a decrease in the need for commercial real estate, fewer large, live events (at least in the remainder of 202), and more cautious interactions. Some have even speculated that the hand shake may be eliminated forever. Adjusting to that New Normal, especially for business, will be a challenge that is met with innovative thinking. We must think bigger and reach higher to make that transition into the New Normal.

Unfortunately, most of us have not changed our pattern of thinking since our mid 20’s when we finished college and started to find our way in the world. If anything, our thinking has become entrenched, reinforcing what we have determined is the right and best way of resolving a problem. We generally fail to keep an open mind to new ideas and new ways of solving problems.

Before you become too puffed up thinking that is someone else’s problem, stop and consider how willing you are to consider alternative methods. Ask yourself, why do you still struggle with persistent problem?

ASK YOURSELF: On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the most innovative and 1 being the most repetitive, how open are you to new methods when attempting to solve a persistent problem?

Extremely Repetitive 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Most Innovative

Murfield Coaching works to help you think bigger and reach higher to make this transition to the New Normal incredible successful. There are and will be great opportunities in this transition. The only question is, “Will you be part of the rubble or part of the new construction?”

(c) 2020 Murfield International, Inc. All rights reserved.

Learn to Listen Effectively




Loren Murfield, Ph.D.

We work with leaders and organizations to solve significant problems with innovative thinking. What problem is frustrating you? Contact us today.

Tune into my new podcast, “Holy Crap, How’d They Do That?” Tune into

Learn how you can engage employees during their most traumatic moments in our newly revised and just-released book, “The ROI of COMPASSION.” Click here to purchase your copy of “Leading with the Power of Compassion.”

Leave a Reply