How often have you heard “don’t band-aid it, fix it”? When a problem arises standard thought is to find permanent resolution. However, on too many occasions I have watched time, money and talent pump out the door while the pros and cons of possible long term solutions were argued. A temporary patch, something we knew wasn’t going to be the final answer would have been better than nothing.
Here are a few questions to consider:
- How much time and effort is the best answer going to take?
- What is it costing us to do nothing until the best answer is ready to go?
- How permanent is the best answer really likely to be (nothing is really forever)?
- How many past temporary solutions are permanently in place now (would you be putting a band-aid on a band-aid)?
- Could a temporary solution be effectively implemented to bridge the gap?
- Will you be able to stay focused on putting the best answer in place once the “pain” of the problem is alleviated by the short-term fix?
Temporary solutions have received a bad name because they are often left in place too long. When a stop-gap measure is implemented it needs to have an expiration date by which the long-term answer will be ready to replace it. If you work in an organization where only the squeaky wheel gets the grease, a temporary solution may cause the real problem to be ignored. But that doesn’t mean it should never be considered.
Do you have an example when nothing was done about a problem because everyone was searching for the long-term answer? Or maybe your team is has a patchwork of temporary solutions that have never been replaced. How did that happen and what is it costing you now? Share your experience with us in the comments!
Last week we talked about how knowing your weaknesses might mean leaving them be and focusing on your strengths instead. Read it here if you missed it.
Next week – Is worrying killing your productivity?