Problem solving, or finding the solution to a challenge involves various meticulous steps. Each one of these steps is exaggerated and holds even more importance when speaking of a business. There are stakeholders involved, decisions to be made and often large sums of money at risk. Each problem needs to be defined and the cause needs to be determined. Further, identifying, prioritizing and selecting alternatives is key to implementing a good solution.
Having brought numerous complex projects to a close, Anne Rabin is here to share with us how she approaches solving ongoing business challenges. She further delves into how this skill is important in leadership positions and how she manages to handle challenging solutions.
You have been known to bring complex projects to a close and resolve ongoing challenges. These are both extremely valuable qualities for the leadership team of any organization. How do you manage this? What do you think are some important ‘tricks of the trade’ to be able to handle crises / challenging situations?
“I believe that every challenge has a solution. The first step is to ensure the right people are present, who are committed to finding a way forward.
“My time as a board member for the Presidio Parkway Project Company is reflective of this need. I was concerned that the construction of the project was being burdened by significant claims and deteriorating relationships with key stakeholders. This could potentially impact our returns and long-term partnership.
“The Board, along with the California State Department of Transportation (DOT) identified a group of eight to see the project through. As an integral member of that group, I observed that the early discussions were restating our previous perspective and not much progress was being made.
“I noted if we could help the DOT show their commissioners that the additional funds were not reflective of management failures, we could reach a financial settlement. We engaged a government relations professional who had strong ties to the California Transportation Commission to help us map out an approach. This ultimately led to building a consensus and an approval for the additional funding.
“Another important rule I follow in times of crisis, is not to react immediately. I have learnt the value of patience and the importance of asking questions. Waiting for clarity and developing a vision for the future is essential.
“One of my strongest skills is my ability to assess risk and resiliency by drilling down on the specifics of individual assets to determine whether it can withstand shocks and/or its ability to adapt to new patterns of use. It is an important perspective for current times.”
Thank you for sharing, Anne.
I am a US municipal and project finance executive with 35+ plus years of experience and an extensive background in…