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Stop the Bleed: Get to the Root Cause of Your Company’s Challenges

October 20, 2022

If you accidentally cut your skin with a knife while cooking and it started bleeding, chances are that you’d jump into action immediately — you can see the damage right in front of you, and you know there’s a clear solution. But when you see your company slowly bleeding in front of you, it’s easier to convince yourself that things aren’t so urgent and turn away. Well, we’re here to tell you conclusively: You need to stop the bleed of your bottom line.

When issues like low productivity, high employee turnover, or poor customer satisfaction are creeping up on you, you should react as though you have a wound hemorrhaging and invest in the business to take action. Here’s what to look out for and how to do exactly that. Are you in a rut? Do you periodically wonder if your company is stuck in a rut, or feel like it used to be better? Worry that your competitors will out-innovate you and drive you out of the market? But then shove those thoughts out of your head and return to whatever busy work you were doing before?

Chances are that it’s not all in your mind. Most leaders have a pretty good gut instinct when it comes to how their business is performing, and they know when they should change things up. However, many of them also prefer to continue in denial rather than facing their problems head-on. Or they may think that they can cover the “wound” with a band-aid rather than identifying and tackling the underlying issue.

This isn’t the right approach. It’s time for change if you can resonate with any of the following signs:

  • You haven’t updated your technology stack in many years

  • You keep adding more and more technology but still the same issues arise

  • Your sales have stagnated or decreased

  • There’s a lack of productivity

  • Employee turnover is high

  • You feel behind competitors when it comes to industry trends

How to stop the bleed The problems outlined above aren’t easy to solve, because they require you to find a root cause. For instance, if your employee turnover is high, you’re probably not going to solve the issue by offering everyone free pizza every Friday or putting in a kegerator in the kitchen area. Instead, you might have to interview everyone in your team individually, figure out the source of their dissatisfaction, and completely rethink your processes after finding out the organizational hierarchy doesn’t work for them.

There are four key aspects to pay attention to here:

  1. People. Is your team productive and do they have good job satisfaction?

  2. Processes. Are you carrying out things in the most efficient way possible, achieving the best results possible with the fewest resources?

  3. Technology. Are you making the most of technology to simplify your processes?

  4. Customer experience. Are your customers happy with the products or service you’re providing and sticking around, or are you losing them slowly?

If you’ve noticed there could be potential issues in any of these areas, you may want to use process mapping to overcome them. The role of process mapping It might sound hard to narrow down a root cause when you have dozens of employees all doing different things, and multiple products and services in your line. But process mapping breaks things down into individual activities — from what happens after a customer makes a complaint to how inventory is acquired. If you have an idea of where the problem may lie (i.e., people vs processes or sales vs operations), then you can pay attention to the relevant processes involved. Then, start mapping out the broader picture before zooming in on the smaller details. Make sure you get the whole team involved. If you still think this sounds overwhelming, the good news is that you don’t have to handle it alone. For many businesses, the best option is to work with a consulting firm to identify where things are going wrong. A band-aid isn’t enough You wouldn’t let a stranger in the street hemorrhage while you go about your business, so why would you allow your business to meet that ghastly fate? Instead of standing by and watching things circle the drain gradually, step up to the challenge and take action.

If you like the idea of working with a consultant to start process mapping to stop the bleed, Cornerstone Paradigm Consulting can help. We specialize in improving your operations and updating your systems to change your organization for the better. Whether you have further questions or would like to start the process today, feel free to contact us and learn more.