Root cause

The problem gets solved in two ways. The first way is reactionary. The problem is discovered and then there is some action to resolve it. This is classic “customer service.” The second way is proactive. We discover a problem and then we work to solve it, but we don’t stop there. We try to figure out where the problem originated to see if it’s possible to solve the underlying cause. Some problems cannot be permanently solved (like the problem of hunger), but others can. Seems simple enough. We don’t tend to do it, though, because the urgency of each problem at hand beats the importance of finding the underlying causes every time. Urgency is the professional team playing against Importance which is your high school’s JV team. However, If we can put in our SOP that “we are the type of people who always look to solve the roots of our problems,” and if we can build a culture around that sentiment, then, over time, our customers benefit, our blood pressure benefits, and our organization benefits. Investing in the important is urgent!

by Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan is the Head Coach at Sandcastle Company, a Seattle-based leadership training organization. His first book, Future Leader: Rebooting Leadership to Win the Millennial and Tech Future [link], is now available. Jonathan regularly writes and speaks about The New Leader Way, leadership resilience, and the future of work. He has years of leadership experience in both the public and private sectors, a master's degree from Seattle University, and professional coach training from the University of Miami.

Filed under: Leadership

Published on October 22, 2018

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