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How to handle business health concerns

~ by Candice R

When keeping the health of your business in check, consider treating your business as you would treat your own health, or the health of anyone that matters to you.

When experiencing health symptoms, it is not uncommon to self-diagnose in order to treat them. Waiting it out, and the use of home remedies or over the counter medication have their useful place. But what happens when symptoms return, continue, or worsen. We seek expert help to address and resolve them.

Your business deserves the same attention, care and expertise when suffering from challenges it faces. As business owners and decision makers, we should be solving our business challenges in the same manner, to keep the wellbeing of the business in good health.

This is how it plays out:

The consultation

*a meeting between patient and health care practitioner to gather all relevant information pertaining to the condition.

This step typically applies when connecting with an external expert who specializes in your particular business challenge/s, should you attempt this in-house, approach it in the same manner. This in-depth discussion serves for the specialist to gather all relevant information pertaining to the business challenge/s so that they can determine whether they are in a position to give advice on addressing the challenge. Gathering information includes ALL SOURCES, be sure to include ALL PERSPECTIVES, from the ground up - when done thoroughly, it is almost always enlightening what key learnings come to the fore. The consult is also your opportunity to get a sense of whether this problem solve is the right fit to resolve the challenge/s you face.

The diagnosis

*the process the healthcare practitioner goes through in determining the cause of the patient's condition.

The process the external expert/your in-house team goes through in determining the root cause/s of the challenge/s faced by the business. You should work in the mindset of diagnosing BEFORE solving problems. Consider the advantage of working with an external expert who can offer the merits of being neutral and offering an untarnished and clear perspective. Connecting with other businesses that have experienced your challenge is also a highly valuable source to feed into diagnosis.

The prognosis

* Based on the healthcare practitioners expertise and experience, a path to treatment and/or recovery is compiled.

Here the external expert/you predict, based on findings, expertise and experience, a path to treatment and/or recovery of the business challenge in question. This requires expertise in challenge resolution, to take well-informed recommendations into a workable pilot resolution. Be cautious not to employ traditional strategies that have failed before with the aim of “doing it better”. There is a reason for failure, perhaps an entirely different route should be considered. Also be sure to take the wider context into account, there are often interdependent challenges so solving one may be a temporary fix if it continues to be impacted by others. For this reason, prioritizing what to address when is a fundamental criteria in this step.

The treatment

*Implementation of what the healthcare practitioner has prescribed to treat the condition.

Implementation should be undertaken as one would in an agile manner, we should adopt flexibility in how we implement treatment and continue to learn and iterate. Remember implementation in most cases cannot be in isolation and requires a change in mindset on the challenge, this should extend widely (and timely) for contextual adoption of new ways to be implemented. The aim: to reach a sustainable and infused way of treating the challenge in reality. Implementation can be done yourself or with other vendors once the expert has diagnosed and reached a prognosis.

The check up

*Assessing the patient's sustainable recovery, and a mechanism in place to alert for any regression in the healing process and thereafter.

As a matter of course, we must assess the sustainability and success of the treatment we have employed. Put mechanisms in place to regularly guide, assess and evolve so that you are alerted for any regression in the challenge resolution and can take action.

Be cautious of short-circuiting how you approach resolution of the business challenges you face. Business challenges tackled in this way offer a sound approach to good business health and avoiding those health scares in future.

Work with Candice R

"Solving niche challenges founders face”.

Illustrator: Lisa Williams (Instagram: @artist_llw)


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