One of the keys to my ability to survive in the Quality profession was my recognition that eyes glaze over and people start to tune out when "Quality" is brought up. However, when the subject is subtly changed to finding ways to solve difficult or intractable problems, it is much easier to get buy-in. Quality professionals are simply tasked with facilitating communication and collaboration leveraging a set of tools to help individuals and groups solve difficult problems.
Bringing this same mindset to the problems of the federal government, I've learned many things about how problems do (and don't) get solved. Over the past few months, it has become apparent to me that the endless debates and intensely partisan approaches to tackling our problems deepen our political divides and solve nothing.
The key is to spend less time focusing on political ideology and more time on collaboratively and creatively solving difficult problems. I am heartened by the many good government organizations I have encountered over the past year and a half that embody this approach.
I am also encouraged by the recent reduction in legislative gridlock in Congress. But, as this recent New York Times newsletter correctly acknowledges, "Congress still has plenty of problems." There are many causes for the inability of Congress to consistently pass meaningful legislation to solve our most difficult problems and many causes for the severe polarization in our country. However, I remain convinced that regardless of our political leanings, we want to solve difficult problems like gun violence, lethal force policing incidents, etc.
As stated in the cleveland.com newsletter that I shared earlier this month, I truly believe that if "6 year olds can do it, why can't we"?!
As we rapidly approach the midterm elections, I encourage all of you to consider carefully each candidate's commitment to problem-solving. We can and should demand elected officials who prioritize getting things done, not just representing their preferred political ideology.
Have a great month!