My wife got pulled over in her mini-van the other day. Apparently, she missed some minor violation toward the end of the month, and therefore, was a prime target for the local authorities. After the driver took her license and insurance card, he returned a short while later to report that her license had been suspended, and that she could not drive the vehicle until her license was restored.
Well, it turned out that her driver’s license had expired on her birthday. She had never received notification. She had no idea.
What does she do?
b) Beg for forgiveness, since she had other people in the car with her
c) Talk a mile-a-minute until something pops out that appeal’s to the cops better nature
d) Assess the situation and come up with some scenarios.
She chose b). My wife is a very beautiful and charming woman, so she was able to drive home with a promise that she would show up for court and that she would not drive, again, until she got her license. 🙂
For me, however, I would have had to chosen c), since I am not nearly as good looking, or charming, for that matter, as she.
In your business, sometimes, you want to try to avoid making reactive decisions your primary method. Reactive decisions are often short-sighted, and rarely address the heart of the problem. An example of one might be finding that you have a circuit breaker that is constantly flipping over. A short-term response might be to run extension cords from another office or area to help to decrease the load on that breaker. However, at some point, either the breaker needs to be changed out or your office rewired or find another office. Leaving a reactionary decision in place could cause greater damage.
What would happen if someone tripped over the cord?
What about if a fire started in the overloaded fuse box?
What if the cord, itself, caught on fire?
Here are a few tips you can use when dealing with the unexpected. While every situation won’t require the detailed level of thought presented, here, having a framework will make the decision-making process much faster and more thorough.:
- Think it through. Determine what is really going on. Appeal to those around you if at all possible
- Consider what resources you have at your disposal. Think of all of your stakeholders plus friends and family
- Determine what the situation would be like if the problem didn’t exist.in our example, that might look like more outlets in that area of the office or room
- Envision what might happen if you don’t address the problem
- Decide what type of decisions you need to make: do you need a short term solution and a long term one, or can you put all your resources into the long-term solution
- Make your decision, seeking to address the root of the problem
If your long-term solution isn’t immediately feasible:
- Keep that long-term or permanent solution in front of you so you don’t lose track of it
- If necessary, break it down into a number of goals or objectives
- Have a system to work on the goals every week
- Keep the main thing the main thing – don’t get sidetracked
- Implement the goal at your earliest convenience
Addressing the real problem, or the root problem tends to have long-term benefits that far outweigh the cost. Avoiding the problem might have short term gains, but will definitely end in missed opportunity.
At Aepiphanni Business Solutions, we are a Small Business Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small business owners. We specialize in helping you develop strategies for your organization, and are committed to your success. If you have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.