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Treat the root cause and not just the symptom of your business
Overtime, fire fighting, urgent meetings are some of the common words we hear or say in our business. If there are always repeating problems or problems revolving the same area, it is likely you are have been run around in circle.

Just like medical symptom, if a doctor prescribe the same cough medicine for this certain patient who visit the clinic regularly, what they are trying to do here is just to control his cough. What is the ultimate cause and what may be the further implications? A constant cough could be a weak body or worse, cancerous. Belittling all the details will create permanent damage that is beyond cure. It is never wise to save little money from a full body checkup than to not even have the chance anymore. No doubt clinic is the cheaper alternative, but hospital is sometimes the solution.

This is exactly the same for our business. Problems like customer complain, sales do not meet the target, production cannot meet the deadline and many more. Every time there is a complain, we call and pacify the customer. Every time the sales cannot meet the target we talk to the salesperson or poach other talents. Every time the deadline is unable to meet, we outsource our work or send compensation to our customers.

If these are the problems that always repeat themselves, it is a very good time to take a break and review what really went wrong.

There are different areas in a business:
  • Plans: Company mission, vision, goals, and objectives that all work together
  • Organisation: A structure for your company that makes sense
  • Procedures: Efficient and effective ways of doing things
  • Leadership: An ability to influence and encourage others around you
  • Skills: The talents and expertise your people need to succeed
  • Culture: Beliefs and attitudes that lead to doing the right thing
Sometimes it may be the product problem, you forget to put in R&D into a product and fail to improve it therefore customer complain. It is an obsolete product that is why your salesperson is unable to meet their target. Your manufacturing plant parts are no longer supported and the repair took longer that is why constantly you meet delays.

There are just 101 problems for you to solve but it will always link back to the one and only ultimate cause. Stopping an existing operation and revamp the system require transition cost and opportunity loss. It is however better than losing it totally. When we got heart problem, we will go for bypass or ballooning at the earliest possible availability so it will not deteriorates our health further. Business health work the same as our physical health, do not solve the problem only when it is too late. The further you drag, the more cost will be involved.
Good to know that........!!!
Thanks for the post........
I like that idea too, however in real life business owners have to tackle with fire fighting and also root problem. Imagine your building is burning but instead of putting out the fire or salvaging what can be saved - you put up an investigation team and start doing the ground work. Best is to do concurrently but usually a business will spend all their efforts to fire fight (which is not wrong), and later those better ones will still have stamina to do a post mortem.

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