The Academics of Parking

When I think about the competence required to manage a parking business, I can’t help but think of one of my favorite master’s program classes called, “The Master Leader.” This class taught me how we process the resolution of issues that impact the efficiency of our business.

There is a leadership issue known as cause and effect thinking. Most businesses spend a great deal of time solving the symptoms of problems rather than their root causes. As a result, the real problems are never resolved. Cause and effect thinking limits the leader’s ability to understand the depths and variations of a problem before jumping to a quick resolutions that could lead to underestimating the problem and a false sense of confidence that it has been satisfactorily resolved. This type of thinking is inadequate to meet the complex demands in the parking industry.

What then is the answer? Paradoxical thinking! Briefly, paradoxical thinking is critical thinking, but the kind that clarifies the goal, looks at assumptions, flushes out that which is not seen, analyzes evidence, establishes an action plan, and examines the conclusions.

A simple example would be motivating employees to do their work. When you encounter an employee who is just performing satisfactorily, what would be your natural process to understand the problem and find a solution?  Please comment below and let us know what valuable conclusions and action items have resulted when you just switched the way you thought.

About Wanda Brown

Wanda Brown is assistant manager for Parking & Transportation Services
at the University of California Davis Health System. She is a member of the
IPI Board of Directors and the IPI Advisory Council, and co-chairs the IPI
Membership Committee.

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