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  • Writer's pictureRobert Stevenson

Beware of "Quick Fixes"

I once read, "I tried a quick fix, but it turns out duct tape doesn’t solve everything."

I like that quote. Quick fixes are the duct tape of life—handy in a pinch, but let's be real, they're not exactly a permanent solution. Here are a few anonymous quotes I think we should all consider when it comes to “Quick Fixes”:

  • "Quick fixes are like putting a tiny umbrella in a tornado—completely pointless and likely to end poorly."

  • "Beware of the quick fix. It often turns into a permanent problem."

  • "Quick fixes are like band-aids for your problems: they might cover things up, but they rarely make them go away."

  • "Why spend hours on a solution when you can apply a quick fix and spend the rest of the day hoping it works?"

  • "Quick fixes are shortcuts that often lead to long detours."

I get really nervous when someone tells me they have a quick fix for a problem we are having. I have learned to ask, "Is this a permanent solution, or am I going to be dealing with that famous quote from the movie The Terminator, 'I’ll be back'?" I am a big fan of lasting results, and quick fixes rarely deliver that.

Quick fixes are like trying to teach a cat to do tricks—it might look promising at first, but you'll soon realize you're dealing with an entirely different agenda. My suggestion is to skip the quick fixes and embrace the journey of solving problems with patience, creativity, and maybe a touch of humor along the way.

In a world where immediate results are highly valued, there will always be the temptation to opt for quick fixes without considering the broader implications when they fail. So, next time life throws you a problem or daunting challenge, may I suggest you skip the quick fix and opt for a solution that's built to last. Choosing a quick fix is like painting over rust—it may look better briefly, but the corrosion beneath will continue to spread.

Now, there is a difference between a “Quick Fix” and “Fixing it Quickly.” I’m all for fixing things quickly. Time is money in business, so the faster I can get it fixed, the better. If you want to fix it quickly, get input from those involved in the problem. Consult with people who know about the problem to find effective, lasting solutions.

I just witnessed a senior executive get fired after 22 years with her company because she refused to involve front-line employees in the solution. You can’t fix a problem if you don’t fully understand it. The front-line employees knew exactly what was going on. They were living it every day. She was clueless about the real issues causing the problems and it cost her her job.

I like to involve employees who have what I call “skin in the game.” Having "skin in the game" implies more than just financial investment; it also suggests a personal commitment, responsibility, or consequence tied to the outcome of a decision or action. When someone has "skin in the game," they are deeply involved and accountable for the results, as they have something to gain or lose based on the success or failure of their choices.

While “quick fixes” may offer temporary relief or apparent solutions, they often fail to address the root causes of problems and can lead to compounded issues over time. So, be careful; a “quick fix” may turn into a “quick exit” for you with your company.



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