Problem-solving doesn't need to be all hard work and focus.
Next time you need to solve a problem, start a contest: offer a prize to the first employee who figures out how to get the attention of a tough customer, or give a gift certificate to the person who figures out how to resolve a product issue that customers regularly complain about. Here are three rulesfor making -- and keeping -- it fun:
Focus on real problems that matter.Avoid fun for the sake of fun. Find real problems and opportunities that people can tackle.
Choose problems that require creativity. Those problems are the most fun to crack.
Money isn't fun. Don't offer cash as a reward. That makes people compete in a serious way and robs them of the fun.
Today's Management Tip was adapted from "How to Make Solving Problems Fun" by Peter Bregman- Harvard Business Review