Are There Too Many Problems?

Have you ever heard someone complain that they are always putting out fires and they have not accomplished anything in a day?

I have heard this from business owners and managers far too many times. The only way to eliminate problems is by getting everyone involved! In order to continually improve we need to engage our complete team. (YES I SAID TEAM – the sooner you start thinking of your organization as a team the faster you will see improvement)

If you were to break down the “problems” in an organization you would typically find lots of “little problems” quite a few “medium-sized” problems and only a handful of “big problems”. Why? It is typically because we tend to dismiss the little problems and focus on the big problems.  However, if we eliminated the little problems we probably would not have the medium sized problems and may even be able to eliminate the big problems … let me explain how.

Let me give you an example that can occur in a collision centre: it could be a small problem that you are out of a specific paint toner ~ this can become a medium-sized problem quite quickly if you have a few vehicles come into the shop and need to be painted using that toner ~ This becomes a big problem as we now potentially have longer delivery times because we are waiting for the product to paint the vehicles, lower gross profit if this causes us to need to pay for car rentals AND potentially unhappy customers which can cost more than everything else above.

I encourage you to take some time to write down all of the “problems” in the way you see them within your organization and then ask everyone else on your team to do the same. Notice a correlation? You should? If you put aside a bit of time each week to create some systems and changes in your organization to eliminate the little problems … the big ones will be fewer and / or will take care of themselves.