Band-Aids vs. Real Change

Band-Aids vs. real change: I’m talking about this topic because it pisses me off.

We’ve been working with Blue Manufacturing for over 3 years, and what they continue to call on us for is fix-its.

They call us when something’s broken, like a plumber, asking us to come in and fix a leak.

The problem is, the things we keep doing for them are Band-Aids. They’re not getting underneath to the real returning issues (that clearly aren’t going away).

Now, we’ve had conversations with them about wanting to create real, lasting change rather than addressing things as they pop up. We’ve talked with them about being more proactive to allow them to take their business to the next level.

But they’re not interested. They want to keep focusing their time and attention on fixing things (often repeatedly) and applying Band-Aids instead of fixing the underlying issues.

I’ll give you an example.

One issue they’ve called us in to fix 3 or 4 times involves hiring in their accounting department (that’s why I’m involved). They’ve been suffering from employee turnover in an accounting position: each person they’ve hired over the past 3 years has stayed for less than a year.

Why?

They have unrealistic expectations and a bad job description, and they’re trying to get somebody who is very inexpensive and inexperienced to do things that simply require a higher level of thinking, critical problem solving, and expertise.

You’re never going to get that for $10 an hour. It’s not gonna happen.

(This is what I mean by unrealistic expectations.)

The other issue is that they want to hire someone full-time, but they don’t actually need a full-time person. They would be much better off (and I’ve run the numbers, so I know) paying a higher hourly rate to a part-time person who really knows what they’re doing.

(Because every time they’ve hired a full-time person, that person ends up sitting around twiddling their thumbs half the time!)

What it comes down to is that they’re not putting the right people in the right seats on the bus, and it’s hurting their business. It’s costing them time, money, and resources (plus endless hair-pulling on my end), yet they’re still not interested in solving the fundamental problems.

Remember the definition of insanity? It’s doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. That is what pisses me off to no end!

It’s inefficient, frustrating, and expensive to keep doing this, and everyone else in the company is shaking their heads and asking why the accounting department is so unstable.

From an accounting standpoint, how can you make real change in the systems, workflows, and processes if you’ve got constant change and turnover in a key position?

It gets worse.

When we created a fix-it list of 16 (!!) problems in their organization we could solve, they weren’t interested. They seem to love playing whack-a-mole.

Does anyone else have a client like this?!

Constantly playing whack-a-mole means you’re not working on strategic issues, the strategic direction of the company, and how to position yourself to get there.

It’s stupid, but so many companies are in that position: bringing someone in to clean up the messes, but not addressing the big picture issues, including lack of a strategic plan.

It’s frustrating to me because these clients have such huge potential and seem to take my advice…but then don’t implement it. The Band-Aids are good enough for them.

But Band-Aids aren’t working. They’re just keeping them stuck in the Band-Aid phase.

Why do companies get stuck here? They’re afraid of change, or just don’t know how to implement it and make it stick.

That’s where we come in. We work with you side-by-side to put the whack-a-mole game back in the box, so you can actually focus on getting your business to the next level.

I invite you to ask yourself: Where do you want your organization to go? Do you have the right people and expertise to take you there? Do you have the tools and systems in place to know that your financial results are accurate? Are the right people in the right seats on your bus?

If you’re ready to move beyond Band-Aids and children’s games, call me. I’ll get you there.