If the operational and management systems in your business are not working to add value and growth to the company, you need to start looking for the cause of the problems. You may have to look long and hard. Yet, keep at it. Most likely, you’ll find that the root of your problems comes from one of three operational issues.
Inevitably, you have problems. Every business owner does. Maybe your product quality is poor or your liability claims have increased. Perhaps there’s too much production down time, or there’s a work load imbalance. Whatever your problems look like, you have them.
Yet, your problems have a root, a genesis, if you will. The identified failure is not the problem; there is an actual root of the problem. And much like salmon who leave the ocean and jump over rocks and logs and waterfalls and predators to reach their destinations, you’re going to have to swim upstream to track down the source of the problem.
To get to the source of your problems, you’re going to ask question after question. You’ll ask “why” until you have no more answers. And then, inevitably, you’ll realize that your problems are the result of one of the 3 most common operational issues every business faces.
Go back to your operational processes. If you have no processes, that’s your main problem. If you have processes, then look for inefficiencies or breakdowns.
If your process structures are fine, the execution of the processes may be the cause of your issues. How many exceptions to the rules are you or your team members allowing? How often are you deviating from your established systems?
If your processes and people are working seamlessly, the root of your problem boils down to capacity. You may be over-staffed or under-staffed. Or perhaps, you have too much unused physical space or too little room in which to work.
So as you’re swimming upstream to find the source of your business problems, be like the salmon. Keep at it. Ask “why” until you get to the very genesis of your underlying problems. Look at your operational systems. More often than not, you’re going to find out that one of three operational issues is at the root of your problems. And if you have operational issues, you have infrastructure issues that could cause the foundations of your business to crumble. Therefore, look deeply into your business operations, and fix the problems before they cause irreversible damage.
Also, be sure to join me in my next article about the evolution of business operations!