Short Solutions To Daily Business Issue – 7 – Don’t Solve A Problem By Creating A Bigger Problem

Spread the love

In our daily business, we face a lot of decisions makings and problem solving.

How do you solve a problem arises in daily operation?

People tend to refer to so called experts for solutions, it appears that they think the experts have the solutions.

One thing I normally notice was the business entity would engage some consulting firms for solutions, especially from reputed firms.

Do they really have the solutions?

They might have if they had audited a similar client/business, what if they have not come across? or understand your business well?

Normally they would send their staffs to your company to review and study.

The senior partner will review after the junior compile a solution for your consideration.

The staff whom they sent could be fresh graduate or a junior staff, since the time cost of the manager would make the assignment less attractive to them.

So, if that is the case, would you get the value of the engagement and had what you wanted from hiring them?

You might have it but did you read the report they sent you?

The report could pages long and half of the jargons used in the report, you might not understand , then what is the use of the report?

Are you going to implement the solutions proposed?

Did they show you and guarantee whatever in the report would solve your problem?

What happen the solution proposed created a bigger problem?

Solving a problem by creating a bigger problem. that is the usual way of people solving problems nowadays.

Once you have a bigger problem, you will tend to forget the first problem since now the problem is negligible as compared to the newer problem.

For Example.

Outcome of the stock take, there was some losses in the inventory.

Instead of finding out how the items were lost, most people would create more check procedures.

This will make the whole process more bureaucratic and cumbersome to operate.

One usual process is to create more check, actually a two steps check would be suffice but now become a 5 or 6 steps check.

Do you think this will solve the losses in the inventory?

From 2 check points become a 6 check points procedures, ended up more items losses over time.


Normal human behaviour in play, when the first person knows there would be another 5 persons to check, he would not check it thoroughly.

Likewise, the 2nd person would think there were another 4 persons checking, I did not need to check so details.

When come to the last checker, he would think since this had been checked 5 times, it could not go wrong, i would just do a cursory check would do, no need to be the bad guy in the process.

The result?

No one check in detail, so now it became a bigger problem.

A small problem now had more human resource cost and more items losses.

In businesses I came across, bosses tend to solve problems by creating a bigger problem,

Sometimes, the boss would just simply get his manager to have a look at it, then his manager will just pass the assignment to his subordinate and this go on.

As the assignment is being passed down, the instruction from the boss will be altered and changes make along.

At the end of it, the first instruction from the boss might no longer look the same, then a bigger problem is created.

We can see a lot of this type of solution making.

Anyone notice the plastic bag decision in supermarket?

Nowadays if you go to supermarket , you need to bring along your own bags to carry the items you purchase, no free plastic bag from the supermarket anymore.

The supermarket would charge 5 cent for a plastic bag.

Reason given by the supermarket was it followed the instruction of government which is trying to tell people to save the environment.

Well, how much does this action save the environment and how effective this will be.

On the other hand, what is the consequences of not using the plastic bags?

A lot of household use the plastic bag as garbage bag, now no more plastic bag, how do the households manage their household waste?

Some would buy plastic bags from shopping platform online like Lazenda, Shoppee, Amazon and so on.

Even some supermarket also sell the plastic bag for garbage disposals,

So what is the different?

Does the instruction of bring your own bag help the environment? or just help the supermarket in its operation of recouping some money from the plastic bag instead of giving out free plastic bag?

So now people bought more plastic bags to take care of household waste.

Worst they just throw their waste down the rubbish chute,  if they are staying in the apartment or HDB in the context of Singapore.

By doing so, they will create a bigger problem as the rubbish chute will be dirtier than previously.

Seriously, if you have bought at least $50 worth of goods, do you really think you will not spend 5 cent just for a plastic bag to carry your stuff?

Do you really ponder whether to spend that 5 cent or not when you just bought $50 worth of junk food?

IF you do, something must be no right in your financial priority.

I usually advise business owner when they face some issues in their operation, go the root of the problems.

Do not take reactive action which may end up to be a bigger problem.

Solving the root cause problem is still the best way.

I always advise people to solve from the root cause, it may be a bit painful, however it is worth the effort.

If you are not willing to go through the pain, you will not gain any fruitful result, no pain no gain, that is the way to go.

Solving problem by creating a bigger problem is tantamount to kicking the ball down the slope and let others to solve it later.

No need to have some fancy words to try to impress readers, just get the job done, you may offend some people due to the decision you make.

It becomes another issue, whether you want your business more than worry about offending people.

The choice is yours.

If you have any comments, do leave it in the comments section.

And in case you have a better solution, do drop your suggestion in the comment section too.

You may also want to read more about this in HERE

You may also like...

6 Responses

  1. Camelia says:

    Your article is undoubtedly one of the most intelligent pieces I have read today. I almost feel guilty for not being able to express myself as clearly as you did regarding problem-solving. Every point you made in the article is spot on. The example you gave with plastic bags is so simple yet brilliant that it deserves a round of applause. Similarly, your example of multiple checks to ensure no losses occur is a trivial but useful thing that I never thought of before. You are absolutely right, in life, finding and solving the root of the problem is the most important step…not to make the process much more difficult with many stages, a lot of bureaucracy, and hiring more staff. These things only lead to losses without actually solving the problem. Your article is truly brilliant, and it has opened my eyes. Thank you for sharing your insights!

    • admin says:

      HI Camelia, glad to know you like the article and your feedback.

      Yes, in the course of my working life, I have seen a lot of people just create more checks and thinking this will solve the problem without realizing it creates a bigger problem. 

      best regards

      Chee Shi

  2. pasindu dimanka says:

    I found your blog post on avoiding the creation of bigger problems while solving issues in business quite insightful. Your emphasis on the need for thoughtful solutions rather than quick fixes resonates deeply. Have you personally encountered a situation where a seemingly small solution ended up causing a larger problem down the line? In my experience, I’ve seen instances where hasty decisions to resolve immediate issues resulted in more complex challenges later on. It’s crucial to consider the long-term implications, isn’t it?

    Your advice on assessing the root cause before implementing a solution is crucial. Taking the time to understand the underlying factors can prevent the escalation of problems. How do you navigate the balance between addressing an issue promptly and thoroughly examining its root causes? It can be a challenging balance to strike in a fast-paced business environment. Thank you for highlighting these essential considerations in problem-solving within the business realm!

    • admin says:

      thank you for your feedback. as to your question on whether I had encountered a seemingly small solution ended up causing a larger problem down the line, yes I did, that was when I went against my superior to overturn her decision.

      There was an issue and when we reported to our superior and even suggested a solution, sadly it was not accepted and being the superior in charge insisted on using her way, so what I did was to assess how much damage could we sustain, just to let her in reality her decision was wrong before we savaged using my method.

      With respect to the need to attend to issue promptly and thoroughly examining its root causes, I understand your concern and worry, I rather let the problem drag on for a while , and solve it once and for all by curing the root cause instead of band-aid approach which may result in more losses. 

      After all, if you are good at finding the root cause, it will not take much time to solve it, and the losses incurred in another day will be smaller than a band aid approach which may result in a bigger problem and bigger losses, not to mention, we still need to solve the root cause of the first incident.

      best regards

      Chee Shi

  3. Richard says:


    Your article on don’t create bigger problems in trying to solve a problem. I couldn’t have articulated it better than this. This type of situation I believe happen when people avoid taking responsibility and accountability. Your example of plastic bags not longer given free of charge at supermarket  in an attempt to preserve an environment,  having a negative impact is a very valuable and valid example of causing bigger problems in trying so solve a problem. This passing of instruction from one level to the next causing proper message being lost, I have seen it a situation of relating a story. The first person would relate the story correctly, but by the time the third or fourth person relate it, the story is completely distorted.

    Thank you 


    • admin says:

      thank you for your feedback and comments.

      Yes, i came across too many of people taking the easier way out by creating another problem to cover the first problem, thinking that the solution can solve the first problem.

      Having more check and balance does not solve the process problem, on the contrary, it creates a bigger problem and more risks.

      best regards

      Chee Shi

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *