Are You Treating the Cause or the Symptom?

Too often people treat the Symptoms and not the Root Cause.

A case in point is the current issue with Alan Jones, the Australian shock jock who made some questionable comments about our Prime Minister and her father.
There is a lot of talk and social media chatter about boycotting the advertisers. So much so that the advertisers are no longer playing any adverts on his show.

Let me predict the future – The radio station will continue to receive money from advertisers, they will just be played at different times meaning more adverts on other shows.
Alan Jones’ show will probably be advertised as “3 hrs of Ad Free breakfast” or some such thing. In a couple of weeks when the next thing gets our interest, the radio will start playing adverts again and life will go back to normal.

People are focusing on the Symptom, and not the root cause. If they truly want to get Alan off the air they need a different cause of action. The advertisers love Alan Jones because lots of people listen to him. It means they get great exposure and the radio station charges them a significant amount of money for this exposure. So to get the advertisers off Alan’s show permanently, the focus needs to be to get people to stop listening to his show and that radio station at all. Will decrease revenues, the radio station will be forced to make permanent changes, such as fire Alan Jones.

The bigger issue is that the people listening to Alan Jones are of the demographic that love his vitriol and diatribe. The people complaining about him typically do not listen to him anyway. So how do go get people who like listening to a person, who probably are not offended by his comments to completely stop listening to the radio station? I can’t answer that one.

Again, are you treating the Cause or the Symptom?

Managers in attempts to cut costs will typically cut costs that don’t matter. For example, no more Tim Tams, cheaper coffee, less staff, or cheaper decorations. That just treats the symptoms of a lack of sales. Successful managers will look at the root of the problem. Basically, what does the customer want (both now and in the future), how do they want it and when do they want it. Lets look at ways to provide this. In Australia, Myer and David Jones are playing catchup with online sales because rather that thinking how do we go down that path (when customers started heading that way) they chose not to, and have suffered!

Small business have a lull in sales and think “Better make more sales calls” rather than considering alternate ways to bring continual prospects in. Too often we fall for doing more of the same action rather than looking at whether it is the right action to take. It is not just a matter of doing things Right but also about doing the Right things.

In a relationship, I have seen people buy their partner a gift or flowers to make them happy rather than considering why they were upset in the first place. What is the root cause. Is it a bad habit, was it a conflicting belief or simply a mistake. Too often the same mistake keeps recurring and it has significant impacts on the relationship.

What about you? In all areas of your life, are you addressing the Cause or just the Syptom?

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