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Stop firefighting, start performing!

Another weeks passes and another example of unnecessary fire fighting demonstrated by a business I have been to help.

If you have this taking place in your business, let me ask you a few questions:

1. What keeps on happening?
root cause problem solving
Regain control with this practical book
Can you pin down what it is that you keep having to do, to get out of trouble? If you can't, is there a pattern you can observe?

2. Do you want it to stop?
Is it causing you enough of a problem that you want it to stop? If the answer is yes, keep reading, if not park it for another day.

3. Find out what is going on
Do you know why you are having this issue? If you aren't sure where the issue is arising from, then take a few minutes to have a look around. When you have some idea, go to the next step.

4. Cause and effect
Do you know what is truly causing the fire fighting situation? If you spend the time to get to the root cause of the situation, you have a good chance of permanently eliminating this situation.

Most people don't bother to dig deeply and solve problems once and for all. It is a lot easier to deal with a symptom of the problem with a knee jerk reaction... in the short term. In the longer term the problem will most likely rear its head once more.

Dealing with problems at the symptom level is time consuming, expensive and tiring....

If you want to get rid of your fire fighting situations then I'm afraid to say that you need to think differently going forward. It can be difficult, but definitely worth it!

And, like most disciplines, it gets easier and faster with practice. Thank goodness!

If you want to get some ideas on how to stop firefighting in your business then check out my books Losing the Cape and Effective Root Cause Analysis

As I said earlier, most people don't do the simple actions listed above. From personal experience, as well as the experience of my clients, I can assure you that high performance lies on the other side.

Have fun putting out your fires once and for all.


About the author:

Giles Johnston is a Chartered Engineer who specialises in helping businesses to grow and improve through better business processes and embracing Kaizen.

Giles is also the author of Effective Root Cause Analysis and 'What Does Good Look Like?'.

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