Whack-A-Mole. Remember this game from video arcades or the Exhibition? Moles would pop out of holes and you'd have to anticipate where they would appear and then it it with a soft mallet. Those little guys would pop up and disappear faster and faster. You won a prize if you managed to knock out a certain number.
Whacking moles still earns you a prize in business. The more fires, situations you handle, the more valuable you can appear and feel! Only thing is, it's exhausting! So it was in a conversation with a new to a role client. The issue she brought to the table was a 'conflict' between 2 staff members. Both of the individuals were cherry picking (my word) over how referrals were passed along and received. Numerous conversations between the two had taken place. Not an unusual approach, especially when you are new - cajoling people into doing their work and playing nice. In probing further, turns out this was happening between a number of other team members - routinely. Ah! that frustration she expressed at having to have so many conversations to get people on side again says she was playing Whack-a-Mole! *HINT* When an issue or situation shows up more than twice, you have a systemic problem. Do NOT be fooled by the slight variations on the theme. This is how, as in another client situation, an employee who was having difficulty kept a number of managers from addressing the larger concern. Late (numerous times), insubordinate, client, complaint, staff complaint - all different right? Wrong! Again in this case you have a systemic issue on your hands. And it need a systemic (vs a Whack-a-Mole) solution.
For my client with the referral issue, the new process is now 4 months old. The original agreements and case for the change long forgotten in the day to day work. Great opportunity to revisit. Share before and after the change data - she's got it! Focus on what's working well. Tweak if necessary. Gain recommitment.
Feels like more time and believe me, if you roll up all those one off conversations you've been having (and would continue to have), you've just saved yourself huge time!