Quick-fixes are appealing. Who wouldn’t want their problem to go away quickly?
But, the problem with quick-fixes is that they only address the symptoms not the source of the problems.
So, the impact of a quick-fix is very, very, short-lived. And once the effects wear off, the problem returns, bigger and badder than before.
But, quick-fixes still sell.
I saw a TV commercial for an over-the-counter painkiller. It featured a heavy-set guy moving furniture. He was pushing 300 lbs and lifting a piano. His knees hurt. The solution? Take the pain killer.
Not a bad idea for a quick-fix.
But, it completely ignores the strain the extra weight puts on his knees or the possibility of changing jobs.
Neither of these are problems that a pain killer can solve. In fact, using a pain killer misses the mark completely.
Because, the pain isn’t even a problem.
It’s a signal. It’s communication that needs to be heard, understood, and responded to.
Where are your organization’s “knees” are hurting?
Where is performance or customer satisfaction taking a hit? It’s very seductive to look for immediate ways to eliminate symptoms. To take a quick-fix painkiller. But, this always drives the real problems deeper into the system.
The habits of thought and action that really need to be addressed for a sustainable change – are never touched by the quick-fix.
Questions for reflection & action:
- Where are you/others relying on a quick-fix solution?
- What underlying problem is being overlooked?
- How can you begin to shift attention away from the quick-fix in order to address the real issues?
- Who can you talk to about the long-term cost and damage of the quick-fix approach?