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How to resist the temptation for quick fixes?

We all fall into the trap from time to time, don't we? We want to change something, but we expect the results to happen overnight. Wanting to lose weight? Let's go on a crash diet for two months. Wanting to stop drinking? Do a Dry January, but start again in February. Getting my point? 


In most cases, we waited too long and things got a bit out of control. Suddenly we decide it's time for action. Craving fast results. Now it needs to happen. The bad news: that's most of the times not the route to success. It's not long lasting. Sustainable changes take time. It takes patience, practice and more practice. Quick fixes don't fix anything. If you want long lasting change, you must change what you think and do on a daily basis. 


That also counts for organizations. In my work with leaders and teams, it's not uncommon to encounter situations where a team and their leader aren't working well together. That's usually one of the ways to start working with a team. It can be very rewarding to be supporting a team and their leader in these situations. If demands are realistic!


What I see happening sometimes, is the natural inclination to rush in with quick fixes, eager to patch up the discord and get everyone back on track. In my experience, hastily implemented solutions often lead to more harm than good in the long run. Here's why:


  • Superficial Solutions: Quick fixes tend to address surface-level symptoms rather than underlying issues. They might temporarily alleviate tension or improve performance metrics, but they rarely get to the root of the problem. Without addressing the fundamental dynamics at play, the same issues are likely to resurface in the future. 

  • Lack of Understanding: Rushing into solutions without fully understanding the complexities of the team dynamics can be counterproductive. It's essential to take the time to listen to all stakeholders, observe interactions, and gather relevant data before developing a team development plan. Without this thorough understanding, any interventions risk being misaligned or ineffective.

  • Sustainable Change Takes Time: Meaningful change within a team doesn't happen overnight. It requires patience, commitment, and consistent effort over time. Quick fixes might provide a temporary band-aid, but they rarely result in sustainable, long-term improvements. True transformation requires a holistic approach that addresses both individual behaviors and systemic factors.

  • Potential Backlash: Implementing quick fixes without buy-in from team members and leaders can lead to resistance and resentment. Change imposed from above, without collaboration or consultation, is unlikely to be embraced wholeheartedly by those affected. Building consensus and involving stakeholders in the process is essential for fostering a sense of ownership and commitment to the proposed changes.

  • Missed Opportunities for Growth: Rushing to resolve immediate issues can prevent teams from engaging in deeper reflection and learning. Every challenge presents an opportunity for growth and development, both individually and collectively. By bypassing this process in favor of quick fixes, teams miss out on valuable lessons that could lead to more profound transformation in the long term.


In conclusion, while the temptation to implement quick fixes is understandable, it's essential to resist this urge and instead take a more deliberate and strategic approach. By prioritizing understanding, collaboration, and long-term sustainability, I'd prefer to help teams navigate challenges more effectively and foster genuine growth and development. Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither is a high-performing team. 


P.S. If you want to build a positive team culture and could use the support and accountability of a team coach to that end, reach out for a no-obligation coaching consultation.


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