GGN Group, LLC     Results through Change ™
Dan Gomez 610-715-8289     Mark Nelson  215-266-0050

Firefight


"I am spending too much time doing other people's jobs." 

But in a small and medium size business, owners and employees alike often must wear many hats.  Nowhere is this more evident than at the top of the organization where owners and senior managers are needed everywhere, even if only for decision making and creativity purposes.  This is especially true of companies operating in the fire fighting mode.  Constant fire fighting is one of the leading reasons business owners fail to achieve their goals and a major cause of professional dissatisfaction and burnout - a situation that not only affects your business but your personal life as well.

Research shows that fire fighting is best characterized as a collection of symptoms.¹ 

  • Not enough time to solve problems
  • Solutions are incomplete
  • Problems recur and cascade
  • Urgency supersedes importance
  • Problems become crises
  • Performance drops
A Case Study:
The owners of a manufacturing company found themselves in a constant cycle of fire fighting, spending their time solving one problem after another - problems they believe should have been solved by others.  Each time the firm reached a certain sales level, production problems caused them to shift their focus from growing the business to spending their time fixing the "problem of the day."  Growth stopped, profit fell, and the owners of the business were burning out.  Needless to say that this situation was not conducive to high performance, customer delight and employee satisfaction.  According to the company president and founder, "It was like constantly running in place.  The harder we ran, the faster we got nowhere.  It was frustrating because not only were we working harder and harder, we were making less and less."

To break this cycle,the situation was analyzed and issues were prioritized.  Issues directly impacting the customer were given the highest priority.  Next an analysis were completed to drill down to the root causes of the major issues.  Then the right people were assigned accountability for solving each root cause - not the owners of the business.  Given  proper training and tools, key people were able to develop and implement timely and effective solutions.  The results included an increase in production capacity, lower production costs and 100% on-time delivery.  But the most impressive result was the ability to actually solve critical operational problems without diverting the focus of the owners on building the business.  The end result - higher sales, lower costs, more satisfied customers, happier owners.
When we describe what we see in an organization, clients instantly recognize what we are talking about.  Often, they cite fire fighting as a main reason they don't achieve their goals - both business and personal.

Breaking out of the fire fighting cycle requires leaders and a team with the following attributes:

  • Results driven - at the end of the day results are what counts
  • Focused on priorities - if not a priority it won't get fixed
  • Committed to finding the root causes - quick fixes and patches won't work long term
  • Can put the right people on the right problems - delegate authority and assign accountability wisely
  • Efficient at problem solving - solving problems by committee is usually not efficient
  • Willing to train problem solvers - tools and techniques can really help
  • Do not reward fire fighting - sometimes the people who put out the fires are the same ones who started them
We can get you out of fire fighting mode today! 

Call us at:

Dan Gomez  610-715-8289
Mark Nelson 215-266-0050

or fill out the form below and we will contact you shortly!

      



GGN Group, LLC

 

 

 


                                                                                                                  

 

 Helping clients achieve greater success, less turmoil,

more personal freedom is what we do.

 


 

When significant change

is needed we gets results

 
 

 

 



[1] Stop Fire fighting by Roger Bohn,  Harvard Business Review