A top executive called me late in the night. He was still awake at 3 o’clock. He told me that he has not been sleeping for the last 3 nights. The problem at his working place is working its effect on his marital life with his wife. Although the problem in professional life was manageable to some extent. But the bottom line was heading towards south. He was always busy in solving problems to the extent of guilty of ignoring the happening in the market. He wanted help in solving the problem.
What could be the solution to his problem? Is there a permanent solution to any business situation? The chemistry of business is a fast-changing genes very different from human beings. There could not be any fixed solution to leave alone a permanent to any problem. Problems in business are bound to raise their heads sooner or later. Would you like to keep solving the problem at the cost of growth?
My observation and suggestion is, if your time is getting messed up more than 30% in the day-to-day problem of your business, there may be a very serious problem at hand. It is the clear sign that either you need a person to solve these problems and get the house in line, or you are heading straight into the dead wall. It is just a matter of time; you will end up on the street which will go nowhere.
All the top executives are guilty of this trait. We all are taught that solving the problem is most important as the old saying goes. If you are not a part of the solution, you are part of the problem. But let me explain no organization has survived and moved on to become a leader just by solving problems.
Take the example of Digital, Compaq, and Amdahl, etc. They all got the problem, they solved it but in the process lose their focus on the innovation. As Peter Drucker said, “The market is a harsh who will dismiss even the most faithful servant without a penny of severance pay”. All these one-time kings of industry went into spirals of problems and lost the ground to others at other players. Compaq ate up DEC and HP ate up Compaq. Now HP is facing the same dilemma.
If we see the market and the market leaders. It is very clear that growth can solve a hell lot of problems itself. In fact in a growing company problems just do not arrive at all. But you can’t grow all the time that is the law of the market. But you have to innovate in your business insight to see a new market to jump in before your old one kill you under its own falling weight. Only the opportunity, not the problem can solve the problem permanently. It is the death time of any organization when its innovation engine dries up. If they can’t see any new market and opportunity. They will get killed in this race where any product life is getting shorter day by day.
Digital and Compaq became leaders in their respective segments by exploiting the opportunity. And innovating new offerings to customers. And when they became leaders, vanity killed their innovative minds and in the process, they got terminated by others.
To solve your problems but relax and do not lose your sight of opportunities. As old adage goes, our productivity is directly related to our ability to relax.