The “job to do” approach

The “job to do” approach discussed with the Clayton Christensen milkshake example can be useful in a variety of settings. Even when we are the customers ourselves, sometimes we don’t look for better solutions because we get into routines and habits. Think about a situation you sometimes find frustrating in your own life or one you hear others complaining about frequently. Instead of focusing on the annoyance, can you take a step back and look for the real job that needed doing when the frustration occurred?

What other options can be developed to “do the job” that may lead to less irritation in these situations?

I have been working in IT since 1996, starting out as an admin assistant. Over time my role has changed to help desk support, system administration, network engineering, security analyst, project manager, business development, technical writer, etc… In all of these roles there are times where I get frustrated with something or someone else’s lack of knowledge/skill set. When this happens it is easy to blame them but what if we took a step back and looked at our own skillset before blaming others? What would happen then? Would things be different? How do we know who needs training on what skill sets? Is there any way to find out without being too invasive?

I am not looking for answers here just some thoughts from other people about how they deal with situations like mine.



You’re right – sometimes it helps to step away from your current situation and think “what could I have done differently?” Sometimes it takes more than one attempt to figure out what went wrong.

In addition, try to remember that everyone makes mistakes; even those who seem perfect may make errors occasionally. It doesn’t mean anything bad happened, only that they made a mistake.

Would still need training? If so, why?

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