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Is it Black or White?
by Herb Carlson
July 29, 2021

Every business is faced at times with problems, which need attention. All too often, management will see only two solutions to the problem: it’s black or white.

The danger is the common human tendency to focus on only the extremes; it’s either this or that. We fail to see the many colors in between, When we state black or white, we tend to believe we have stated all of the possibilities, we fail to see the full range of colors between. We need to see problems not only from the obvious but from all possible angles. Management can be blind to the many alternatives, which are waiting to be explored and which could offer a better solution.

Many people in management lack imagination to see outside the box, beyond the black and white solutions. Do you tend to see one pattern and consider it the only right one for all occasions, because that is the way we have always done it? Most of us have infinitely more imagination than we give ourselves credit for, and so we fail to see alternatives.

As managers we should constantly develop our minds to be more visionary in our thinking. What can we do about limited vision? The method for developing this is the systematic search for, and the developing of, alternative solutions to problems. With the continual use of alternative solutions, it will become second nature to your way of thinking. Tap into the talent of people who have had experience in business such as your local SCORE chapter.

As SCORE counselors, sadly our presence may be called upon too late. When a business needs a quick fix to avert serious trouble, please don’t hesitate; contact SCORE as soon as possible. All to often we find that the effective time for a positive fix has passed, and any change of direction or corrective measures that could have been of value has passed. Very often, if we had only been called earlier, we could have been of greater help.

In conclusion, situations SCORE is called upon to help, needs more than a single solution. The problem needs a more in-depth analysis by one of the SCORE team that has more expertise in a particular field such as: marketing, bookkeeping, or legal. SCORE can bring a fresh eye to an issue that can be helpful in seeing a problem from a different point of view. This help is rendered at no cost and is confidential. SCORE has business counselors, volunteers who are now, or have been in business and who wish to see every business succeed.

About the author
Herb Carlson
Herb Carlson
Herb Carlson, a volunteer business counselor with SCORE’s Tip of the Mitt chapter, has a background as a business owner as well as in engineering, and is a former mayor of Petoskey
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