There’s a facility in the US that has millions of mice in inventory. A researcher can buy a mouse with nearly any disease or genetic condition—from glaucoma to hepatitis to rheumatoid arthritis. Each mouse is a manufactured problem. Researchers buy these “mouse problems” so they can look for cures. Manufacturing problems is the company’s business.

This company has a very unique business, yet many companies act like they are in the business of manufacturing problems too. They issue rosy production estimates for public and investor consumption. They allow senior leaders to perpetuate egregious personal behavior against employees. They focus competition on the inside instead of the outside. They allow poor customer service to hijack their public relations. They put the wrong person in the wrong role. In short, they create problems that take them off the course of actually doing their business.

All of these problems (and many more like them) can be solved or prevented. But it takes clarity, focus, and a healthy intolerance from assertive leaders.

Sometimes organizations can be their own worst enemies. Does you organization have self-created issues you see that are getting in the way?

  • Lack of developed talent?
  • Lack of effective collaboration?
  • Under-performing talent?
  • Departments working at cross-purposes?
  • Deferring innovation efforts?
  • Lack of accountability for leadership?
  • Lack of clarity on priorities?
  • Too many priorities?
  • Poor customer service?
  • Poor internal service from corporate resource groups?
  • Competition focused on the inside instead of on the outside?

In what ways is your organization working against itself and its own effectiveness? What are some of your key situations that cannot be further tolerated, ignored, avoided, or explained away? Make it your business to get to the root of these today and turn them around.

If we are not in the business of removing problems, then we will forever be in the problem management business. In very rare instances, being a creator of problems is a good business model. For all other businesses, this is not the case.