Jasmeet Kohli

Friday 3 August 2018

Does Your Organization Follow this Approach for Problem Solving?

Please check if your organization has any one or more of these symptoms:
  1. Problems turn into crisis - Warning signs of problems affecting business are either ignored or not known due to absence of any structure to recognize them. Action is taken only when problems turn into crisis situations requiring massive firefighting efforts
  2. Performance Drop - As so many problems are dealt inadequately and virtually no improvement effort being made and many opportunities lost, the overall performance of the organization drops drastically many times threatening its very existence in the marketplace
  3. Celebrating Troubleshooters - Due to so many crisis situations, many people specializing in troubleshooting and firefighting emerge to deal with these situations. Company also celebrate and recognize such people over those who advocate a Process Management approach
  4. Shortage of Time - The Problem Solvers in the company are so busy in their tasks that they have absolutely no time to look into the problems of the business.
  5. Half baked Solutions - Many problems are apparently solved by just treating the symptoms rather than looking at the root cause of the problem and fixing it
  6. Re-occurrence of Problems - As root cause of the problem is not treated, many old problems simply reoccur or contribute to other problems and making them more serious
  7. Urgency preferred - Occurrence of crisis in different parts of business is a common thing in such companies where rules are made just for formality sake. Long term Improvement efforts and bringing in a process management culture are frequently impacted to deal with these crisis situations.
If any one or more of the above symptoms are present in your organization, then it is suffering from Arsonist Fireman Syndrome (AFS) or Firefighting as it is commonly known. It is a type of negative culture affecting many business organizations which focuses on “Firefighting” (constantly dealing with problems). Such companies move from crisis to crisis. A Fireman emerges who douses the fire earning the appreciation of the Top Management. Almost no effort is made to evaluate why the crisis occurred in the first place. Eventually, this become the norm rather than exception in the company and Firemen are given preference over all other people.

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