In an attempt to fill the gaps in my pop culture knowledge, I recently watched the last season of the acclaimed series, The Sopranos. My favorite scene? Sitting in his psychiatrist’s office reflecting on his close brush with death, his joy to be alive, and his unrelenting problems, Tony Soprano confesses: “I realize now that each day is a gift … just, does it always have to be socks?”
We all have days when we feel like Tony—a customer’s legitimate complaint, an untrained employee passing along bad information, an error that you catch only as your presentation hits the giant screen in front of hundreds. Another sock? Perhaps. But it’s also an opportunity to begin to connect the dots and better understand the problem.
Is it an isolated issue or part of a larger pattern? (As my first manager was fond of saying, “How many cars have to go by before it’s a train?”) And so the digging begins. What’s the cause? The frequency? The source? The effects? What happens if we don’t fix this problem? Who do I need to involve in analyzing it? If this were resolved or improved, how could it change the business?
Let the brainstorming begin. What starts off as a trigger for high blood pressure can turn into an “aha” moment. It doesn’t always have to be socks.
Rhonda Sunnarborg, Senior Consultant