There Is Often More Than One Problem….

Sometimes the problems we think we have when owning a business are not the real problem.

Sometimes it’s like life… and therapy.

You’ve got to listen to the problem, then ask a question.

The question should allow the person with the problem to start “unpacking” their problem, and peeling back the layers.

As the layers get peeled back, what we tend to find is that the initial problem is not the real problem.

What we discover is that what was thought to be the initial problem, or the only problem is actually a SUBSEQUENT problem that has arisen as a consequence of one or more prior causative problems.

For example:

A patient goes to the doctor complaining of a sore foot.

The doctor can examine the blister on the patient’s foot and prescribe a cream as treatment for that blister.

The doctor can notice that the patient is walking with a limp and refer the patient to a physiotherapist or to an orthopaedic surgeon for correction of the limp.

Or the doctor can remove the patient’s shoe and see that a small stone in the shoe is causing the patient to limp, and the stone is rubbing the foot and creating a blister.

I know that this is a very simplistic example, but you can see the error of not looking at the big picture in this situation, and digging deeper.

I recently was chatting with a dentist who was having some staffing issues, and having difficulties finding the right team members and also was having difficulties creating a good team culture.

When we peeled back the layers to his problem, we found that one of the reasons for these difficulties was that the business lacked a MISSION STATEMENT as well as a SERVICE VISION STATEMENT.

These statements serve as CORE VALUES that the business needs to refer to and stand by when hiring new employees.

Only those applicants whose attitudes and commitments are aligned with these statements should be invited to become team members and join the organisation.

Without these statements, what we often see is that businesses often hire people “with a pulse”, although those people’s values may not be aligned with the values that the business is trying to uphold, and with the CULTURE that the business is trying to create.

In the case of this dentist, his big mistake was that he was hiring too many employees on a casual basis rather than offering them a more stable, permanent employee position.

Applicants and employees were then being given a message of “less commitment” from the business, and with that, the efforts of the employees reflected that same level of “less commitment” back at the business.

“You will get back what you give out”

As business owners, we must give out more to our team in order to receive more from them.

Every decision we make in our business needs to be aligned with those core values.

Any decision that we make that is not in alignment with our core values is destined to fail because of that absence of alignment.


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