While walking around my neighborhood I noticed a utility company situation that has been in existence for at least an entire year. At first, I dismissed it, but its persistence inspired me to discuss the dangers to businesses, of all types and sizes, of quick fixes that seemed like a good idea at the time.
As you can clearly see from these two photos, there was a damage event to the original utility pole, the electric company installed a new pole (as they are required to by law), cut off the top of the old pole, and propped up the old pole as shown in the second photo. Certainly, the electric company assumed three things:
- Their quick fix must have seemed like a good idea at the time. After all they were under time pressure to restore power to the buildings nearby.
- That the quick fix method of propping up the old pole was a good idea at the time because ..
- The cable and phone companies would come by and attach their cables to the new pole and remove the old pole within a reasonably short period of time.
Obviously, the phone and cable companies have failed to do their part.
So, what does this have to do with your organization? I my coaching career, I have observed numerous instances of both clients and prospective clients that instituted quick fixes of issues within their companies. In most cases these quick fixes that were intended to be temporary, eventually became permanent. One prospective client had, in the interest of time, decided to load product data into a new software package without following the method specified in the software manual. Several years later, they were unable to simply transfer their data into a new version of the software. This resulted in them having to spend thousands of dollars with outside consultants to manipulate and reformat the data over a period of several months before they could use and benefit from the new software.
There are many “potholes” on your road to success created by quick fixes. Among them are:
- Quick fixes almost NEVER represent “best practices.”
- Quick fixes generally introduce inefficient processes and procedures into your company.
- Quick fixes eventually stop working.
- Quick fixes often lead new team members to ask themselves “What have I gotten myself into?”
- Quick fixes generally are difficult to explain and train.
- Quick fixes become increasingly more and more expensive.
- And many, many more.
I urge you to ask yourself “What quick fixes instituted in my company a long time ago have become parking brakes to my business’ success?”
My colleagues and I at ActionCOACH are particularly good at helping our clients eliminate the quick fixes that are slowing down their businesses. If you have old good idea quick fixes that are limiting your growth, profits, hiring, or success contact me for a complementary evaluation to learn how I can assist you to undo your quick fixes and position your company outperform its competition.