Solving a Problem or Wasting Resources?

Minister Motsoaledi wants to ban alcohol advertising. His reason – to reduce violent crime fuelled by excessive drinking.

A solution needs to address a problem, right? Without checking the research I am pretty sure that there is enough to prove a strong correlation between excessive drinking and increased violence. However I am not sure that there is such a correlation between the advertising of alcohol and the excessive use of it.

One of the critical, but often ignored, skills of effective leadership is the ability to effectively solve problems. The Leader-Management Framework shows this involves four steps – acknowledge the problem, explore ways to treat the root cause, consider the consequences then take action.

Leader Management Framework_border_intense

Minister Motsoaledi has the first step right. He has acknowledged the violence and the connection to the abuse of alcohol. From here on he has a lot more work to do. Does banning advertising treat the root cause? If not what does? If you ban advertising what are the possible consequences? If you have a good solution it will have many positive consequences. Nevertheless you still need to see if they outweigh any negative ones.

Once you are sure you have the right solution to treat the root cause you take action. Motsoaledi has already jumped to step four with his announcement of the ban. The missing steps in between are crucial to effectively solving problems instead of wasting much time and money.


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