Most of would agree that finding the best solution to a problem starts with properly identifying what that problem is in the first place.
It’s mighty hard to fix a flood in your basement if you think the problem is in unmade bed in your guest room.
So, why do so many of us turn to fixing the wrong problems:
1. WE DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT IS CAUSING THE MESS
I frequently have clients misidentify what is going wrong in a situation or with their career. They might think it is because they don’t have the right music but it might be because they take horrible meetings. They might think it’s because of their bad credits but it might be because of their bad attitude.
2. WE ARE FIXATED ON A DIFFERENT PROBLEM AND IGNORE THE OTHER ONES.
For example, a composer can devote a lot of attention on something like improving their website while not focusing on getting out and being more social.
3. WE ARE INVESTED IN NOT LOOKING AT OR DEALING WITH THE REAL PROBLEMS.
It is A LOT easier to deal with the stuff we are comfortable with. Diving into things that make us uncomfortable or challenged is a lot harder. So many of us simply don’t want to look at areas we know are going to be difficult, even though the real problems frequently live there.
4. WE ARE UNWILLING TO MAKE THE CHANGES NECESSARY TO DEAL WITH THE REAL PROBLEM.
A composer, for example, invested in not updating their music or looking at their pricing or changing their approaches is limiting their ability to actually fix their problems.
5. WE ARE DEDICATED TO ONLY FIXING PROBLEMS ONE WAY.
For a number of reasons the AFM, for example, appears to only want to fix their problems through things like tax incentives instead of addressing things like residuals. This limitation creates a necessity of only looking at problems that can potentially be remedied within those limitations whether they identify and address the real problem or not.
6. WE RESIGN OURSELVES TO A “WHAT HARM CAN IT DO IT TRY TO FIX THE WRONG PROBLEM?” MINDSET.
On the surface, what harm is there in making the guest room bed while the basement is flooding?
Frequently, a lot.
A flooded basement is a deep problem with a lot of additional residual problems. An unwillingness to identify that problem and delve into really fixing it is going to be a potential disaster.
The destruction caused in the basement while one is messing with the guest room bed is compounded because the wrong problem is being tended to at the expense of dealing with the one that is much more sever and impactful.
Or, if one is more dedicated to a pre-conceived “principle” than identifying and fixing things are limited. For example, if the “principle” is only doing things themselves, that “principle” may stand in the way of hiring the plumber necessary to unflooding one’s home.
The harm of fixing the wrong problem can be extremely damaging.