The “Find and Fix” Syndrome

The Story of the Rug Merchant

The simple story of the rug merchant is about a man who stepped on a bump in the rug in order to flatten it out only to see the bump reappear in another part of the rug. He repeated his actions again and again yet the bump reappeared again and again. Finally, in frustration he lifted the rug, and as he looked underneath, an angry snake slithered out.

This story is shared by the famous business consultant Peter Senge in his books as an example of a “find and fix” mentality in which companies try to solve dynamic problems with static or incorrect solutions. Frustration sets in, or worse, the company is lost before it knows what happened. It’s another example of your biggest risk which is “what you don’t know that you think you know.” Solution: learn about the problem first! Next, play what I call business BINGO which is the confluence of your Goals and Tasks and the people performing same. Of course in order to play you need to know your Vision and Mission. If you are unsuccessful in “find and fix” mode, over and over again, maybe it’s time to start learning another way to play the game of business?

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