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When something isn't working

Updated: Apr 10, 2019

In our work lives, when something isn't working, we struggle with which part of the problem to tackle first.



Do we start with cost reduction?

What about morale?

Or should we begin with process improvement?


In our personal lives, it's the same dilemma—which problem do we work on first?

Should we resolve to do better with home finances?

Make our marriage more fulfilling?

Get rid of ten pounds?

Spend more time with the kids?

The optimist says there's opportunity everywhere we look.

The pessimist says everything is messed up, and it's as though every system is perfectly designed to stay messed up, no matter how many things we try to fix.

We pick the problem to work on, and we either fail or succeed.

If we fail, we add “frustration” to our list of problems.

If we succeed, a new problem pops up to replace the old one.

The solution to a problem becomes the next problem.

We cut 10 percent out of our department budget, and our star performers leave in frustration, experiencing a lack of support for projects important to them.

We quit smoking and gain ten pounds.

We go to the gym to lose the weight, and our family complains we're not home enough.

We spend more time at home, and our boss gripes that we're not getting enough done, the budget is out of control, and when are we going to fire the next person we can't afford to lose?

It's so much stress that, before we know it, we're smoking again...

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