Workarounds That Work

BOOK_workaroundsUnless you live in a boring movie, things in your life will often go wrong. Whether these are life-changing family issues or minor inconveniences, there probably will not be even a single week in the next year during which everything turns out ideal.

That’s when you need to take charge and find a way to get things done. The best employees are not the ones who can perform optimally when things are rosy; the most valued are those who can confront adversity and win-no matter whether the hurdle is a botched project or a plane cancellation due to bad weather.

According to Huffington Post editor and columnist Russell Bishop’s new book, the key is finding Workarounds That Work. “I am championing letting go of blame and complaints altogether in favor or taking even more responsibility for the solution….The first workaround may be merely the mental shift that says ‘I can do something about this on my own,'” he writes.

That mentality is the primary message—and it is one that risk managers must cultivate. There is almost always a solution to a problem. It may be difficult. It may require creative thinking. But there is a way to get it done. Ultimately, Bishop reaffirms something we already know: you’re either part of the problem or you’re part of the solution.

Unfortunately, that theme splinters into a series of unconnected thoughts midway through the book when he begins offering advice on how to manage your email inbox, make meetings useful and stop multi-tasking. Learning to do such things indeed can be beneficial. But here, they feel shoehorned in.

It seems like Bishop had half a book’s worth of actual insight and a bunch of unconnected thoughts on how to make work more efficient. I suppose they technically fit the “workarounds” topic, but if I wanted to read about such things (which I didn’t), I would look for a book called something like “Optimizing Mundane Chores.” Better yet, I would search for “managing my inbox” on Google and find hundreds of blog posts. Because a meandering blog is exactly what this feels like.

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