It is inevitable that problems can arise with any business and they can typically be market based, operational, financial, strategic, people based or a combination of these, but how we approach them can dramatically impact on the outcomes we achieve.

When the problem strikes the first thought for most people is “what do I need to do to fix the problem”, how do I make it go away as quickly as possible. On face value, this seems like the right thing to do,  but how many times do you fix a problem only to discover that another one pops up and then another and another, until you feel like all you are doing is fighting fires on many fronts.

What if the answer was actually not to fix the problem at all but rather to find a better way?  Now a radical thought that might seem counter intuitive, is that the solution shouldn’t be derived from the problem, but rather from the outcome you want.

A great metaphor for this is a leaky watering can.

After many years of great service, the metal watering can gets rusty and then one day, seemingly out of nowhere, a hole appears and it starts to leak.   At this point you can plug and fix the hole, but there is a fair chance that eventually either the hole will come back or new one will appear… and yes there will now be a new leak.

Do you get the picture?

This same thing can happen in any business, regardless of size, and whilst it is easy to say that business challenges are more complicated than a leaky watering can, the premise when you take a step back is exactly the same.

So what if instead of being focused on fixing the watering can we just found a better way to water the garden?

Funnily enough, in today’s world few people would fix the can, instead they would go out and buy another one.  Now they might buy a better watering can, maybe made of plastic so that it wont rust and leak in the future, but have they really used the problem as a springboard, accepted that something was wrong and then found a better way to move forward?

In business when things don’t work the way you want, it is understandable to want to resolve the tension you are feeling by fixing what is immediately in front of you as quickly as possible and this is what most people do, but in doing this we miss out on an opportunity to reinvent and in the process find a better way to get what we really want.

So next time you are faced with a problem stop, take a step back and work out if you really want to fix what is wrong, or use it as an opportunity evolve.

We have all heard the saying “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them” and when you are in the problem it can be hard to see the forest for the trees.

Imagine having a resource that you can call on to help you gain perspective, bringing insights from not just one industry sector or business area, but rather an holistic view that is not limited but expansive…if this could benefit you or someone you know who is open to a better way forward, reach out, we’d be love to have a chat !