A wet ceiling can be a really scary situation. First you hear it. Drip………. Drip…… Drip… (It’s getting faster!) Drip. Drip. Drip.
Your mind spins into a frenzy while identifying every possible scenario.
Is there a hole in the roof? Is there a cracked pipe? Has some enormously expensive piece of infrastructure just burst?
The answer could be something small, and easy to fix. It could be a number of smaller issues that require some more intricate work. Or it could be one huge problem.
Here’s the thing, though. You’re never going to know until you open it up and get to the source of the problem. That’s the first thing I’m going to tell you that you don’t want to hear.
But there’s more where that came from.
You can’t avoid it, or pretend the problem away. And you can’t isolate your search for a solution to whatever is going to be quick, easy, and inexpensive. Think about it. When is the last time you were impressed by a building held together by duct tape?
Of course you want to fix it fast, and you should. But you need to fix it correctly. And I believe the same logic should be applied to problems within the workplace.
Let’s say there’s been a decrease in sales in the past month. If you look at it from a distance, it may seem the newest employee is just not working out. That would be the easy answer, right? But I would challenge you to stop, and be certain you have the right answer before you take any action.
Maybe what is actually happening is the training manual is old and doesn’t support new company ideals. Perhaps there are technical problems. Could it be issues in production? Is the new distributor making shipment deadlines?
Just like with the leaky ceiling, you’ll never know if you use a ‘fake solve’ and try to quickly patch the problem. What you need to do is open the issue up, look at all the facts, and put together a solution based upon what you find.
But that’s not all. There’s still more to be taken into consideration. If you find that the problem is in fact a cracked pipe, you wouldn’t blindly purchase a replacement without doing your homework. Find out why it cracked. Was is just old? Or was it wrong all along? A new pipe won’t do much good if it’s the wrong size, shape, or material. So even after you figure out the root of the problem, you need to dive even deeper to understand it.
And is the little leak all of the damage? Or could there be mold?
It’s the same in the workplace. That’s exactly what my job is—to dig into the ‘cracks’ of companies and then take extra time to craft a plan based upon the company culture. And while the process can be quick and painless, it typically isn’t. Nor is it cheap. But it’s much less expensive than the alternative, which could jeopardize your entire workplace.
Each business that we work with is different. Some are more comfortable with confrontation, and more willing to explore even the scariest of scenarios. Some are more relaxed and willing to look ‘outside the box’ approach. So I must custom tailor every solution to assure the best fit, and the best results – both now, and down the road.
It can be a dirty job. Maybe I’m crazy… I don’t know. But I love to do it.