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Ignoring Problems Costs Money, Time and Energy

Last updated March 26, 2013

Problem solving is challenging but it’s critical to business success. But too many businesses spend far too much time, money and energy putting up with problems in their businesses rather than solving them.

Sadly so many companies adopt a "head in the sand" strategy, believing that if they ignore a problem long enough it will go away. Now, when did that ever happened? More often than not that little molehill of a problem becomes a huge mountain that really cannot be moved. It’s time to really focus on problem solving, especially those ones that have been niggling at you for a while.

So what is the problem? It can be defined as "a situation(s) where we are un-certain, un-nerved, un-clear about what it is or we have difficulty in achieving our objective". Effectively it is an objective + obstacle = problem. If you want to achieve your objective, then you have to remove the obstacle and problem solved!

Related Articles: Nine Essential Skills of Problem Solving and Problem Solving Games and Problem Solving - Keep it Simple and Problem Solving & Leadership

The “head in the sand” strategy, especially if this strategy isn't changed, is eventually terminal for a business. Firstly the business stalls, and then it stagnates, becomes sick and then sicker. Decline sets in and eventually it will die a slow painful death.

Every business including mine has a problem or problems that arise. They may be sudden and unexpected, for example, a key suppliers factory burns down and you can't get any products. Or these problems are slow to develop, grow quietly and then fester.

But ‘problems’ can become opportunities; it's just a matter of dealing with the problem and I mean really dealing with the problems, root cause and all. The key is to have a system that identifies the problem, then a process to dig down and get to the root cause and finally a way of solving the problems.

These are all the skills that we should have learnt throughout our lives. After all, the problem solving process is just the same for problems outside of business. But it's a skill, which if more businesses learnt how to do it well, then their business would thrive rather than die on the vine. Avoid problem solving at your peril; don't leave it in the too difficult pile, get it out and solve the problem now, you'll be glad you did.

What's your best tip for problem solving?

shirley-mansfield-CoachSME
Shirley Mansfield
Master Business Problem Solver

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