business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

As part of a broader series on leadership and productivity, Fast Company has an interview with Shonda Rhimes, the CEO of ShondaLand, the producer of television programs such as "Gray's Anatomy," "Scandal," and "How To Get Away With Murder." Producing that much television in a single season takes a lot of time, talent and energy, and it is not an auteur's environment - it requires enormous collaboration and coordination.

Like a lot of businesses.

And I was intrigued by one specific thing she said:

"I think my biggest problem with time is that I need most of it for creative space, [but] there is a giant part of my job that is running my business. So people try to come into my office with fires that need to be put out, many of which they could solve themselves if they did not have me in front of them ... And at work I have a rule that you're not allowed to come into my office unless you're coming into my office with a solution to a problem, and not with a problem."

She goes on:

"I want you to come into my office with some plans for what you think can happen. Don't come in with a fire that's already lit - I want to know how you think the fire is gonna be put out, and then we can talk."

I think that's a pretty good approach, whether one is a CEO or a store manager.

It is an Eye-Opener.
KC's View: