Focus on Rubbish, not Rats

by Daniel Batten on July 28, 2010

A while ago New York had a rubbish strike. As a result, rubbish piled up and began to stink.

As a result, rats came.

As a result, New York got a rat-problem.

* The rat-problem was the symptom.
* The rubbish-problem was the cause.

Now imagine if you called this a rat-problem and sought about getting rid of the rats.

You could invest huge amounts of time and energy on numerous hi-tech rat-extermination techniques. And each of them would appear to be working, for a time. But until the rubbish is gone, you will just keep on getting more rats.

Have you ever felt like this regarding

* Cashflow
* Staff you “can’t rely on”,
* Lack of sales

They are not the problem, they are the symptoms of some underlying rubbish.

Your task is to identify and address the underlying rubbish-problem.

What examples can you think of, of where the rat-problem has been dealt with, without addressing the rubbish-problem.

– The Bush Administration announcing anti-terrorist measures, without changing US foreign policy
– Doing exercise and eating less, without alkalizing the bloodstream
– Getting assistance with sales and systems, without changing the your business mindset
– Attracting new staff without a shift in the organizational culture they will work in
– Going into a new relationship without reflecting on your part in the dynamics of the last one

Ask yourself “what is the underlying rubbish problem” and act on the intuition you get.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Daniel July 28, 2010 at 4:32 pm

PS: The rubbish-problems that cause issues with cashflow, sales and staff are addressed in full in my book which you can get from

Catherine Gow July 28, 2010 at 5:40 pm

Oh Bless you, its not just the same old stuff I often see regurgitated online. I love your fresh approach.

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