If You Fix It, It Will Break Again
Tom Stimson
September 13, 2018

As a young manager, I made all the best mistakes.

It seemed perfectly natural to blame people who made errors or exercised poor judgment and ‘hold them accountable.’ It rarely worked. The mistakes kept happening.

I remember a particular issue, many years ago when our head video engineer complained about consistently getting the wrong selection of cables with the switcher system.

The blame game escalated until my boss forced the engineer into the warehouse and instructed him to select all the cables and accessories he wanted to receive every time.

“It depends on what we are doing! It’s different every time!”

“Then how do you expect the warehouse team to know what to send?”

The solution played out. The engineer defined the set of cables needed that allowed him to wire every input and output with options for longer distances. It was a huge pile, but there would be no more shortages.

That new pack needed new custom cases and a bunch more cable, but that process changed how I looked at human error.

Remove the obstacles.

Today, I see owners and managers – especially young managers – struggle with issues stemming from human error.

When I drill down into the issue, I often find that the employee lacked clear direction, defined processes, and support from management.

Should I blame the employee or the manager?

This week’s blog is a reprise on the issue of problem-solving and how it relates to fixing processes that lead to human error.

About Tom Stimson
Tom Stimson MBA, CTS is an authority on business and strategy for small- to medium-sized companies. He is an expert on project-based selling and a thought leader for innovative business processes.
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