When you notice spot fires appear in your organisation or when fires have been burning out of control for some time ask yourself (or have your managers ask it), “what is the one thing that if corrected would cause the fires to be extinguished?” This is called locating the cause. Sometimes it is one thing, sometimes more but there is always an underlying cause.
The process goes something like this:
- List the issues;
- Validate them. It’s not good enough to go by gut feel;
- Locate the cause of the matter;
- Bring correction;
- Monitor the outcomes;
- Manage the ongoing changes, inputs and outputs;
- Rinse and repeat.
At a macro level, chaos can be the result of significant and fast growth thus putting downward pressure on people, systems, cash flow and so forth. Chaos can also be the result of mismanagement.
In any case, too much chaos can be the end of successful seasons, see good people walk out the door and make for a miserable work existence.
And remember my maxim: the one thing is to find that one thing and correct it.