Who did not think, one day, getting up in the morning: “What will fall on my head at work today?”
We can’t deny it, everyone has thought about it.
At this point, we think of the following:
- New orders;
- Stops of the machines;
- Late orders;
- Non-compliant products;
- Shortage of components;
- Endless meetings to follow the evolution of emergency plans to solve the problem of the day.
However, a context of overexposure to these kinds of problems generally puts us in a state that will later be referred to as the “firefighting mode”; mode whose name already implies that we are constantly trying to stop problems, sometimes more or less unexpected, but always to solve in the fastest possible time.
Management in “firefighter” mode
Nowadays, it is commonplace in many companies to work in a state of emergency. It has become “normal” for managers to spend their time extinguishing fires that appear almost everywhere.
Thus, these managers, who must plan and manage the business so that it can develop, spend their time in firefighting mode; situation that obviously does not give them the opportunity to plan and control the system under their responsibility. As a consequence of this situation, while the manager is killing himself to put out the fires of today, the fires of tomorrow are being formed. The manager is caught in a vicious circle and the “911” mode drags on.
This point is crucial in a business. When the abnormal situation becomes the norm, we end up accepting it as “the normal situation”, daily and recurring problems are accepted as “normal problems”. We accept our mistakes, the lack of planning and the resulting costs as logical and correct.
So, we accept that our managers work, permanently in the daily, in “emergency” mode. All planning, improvement and development efforts become secondary. The priority is to get through today’s trap; indirectly we agree to work in survival mode (sometimes panic). It is certain that when the situation is exposed to cold, we have no other option than to react to the best of our abilities and to submit to the situation, which, in turn, brakes enormously the long-term development. term.
In fact, it is this passive acceptance above that limits us in our long-term vision. So, because our managers are forced to react to problems that, when they occur, degrade productivity, they must intervene in order to try to put it back to what it was before. Thus, we find ourselves caught in a dynamic that forces us to have to move back to advance in terms of productivity, and this, whatever the industry.
The professional reality is sometimes stuck to the image projected above. How to make these goals born of negative reactivity into proactive goals?
First, it would be useful to use the information surrounding the problems that occurred as a database and then extract a proactive goal.
In short, it is a question of diagnosing “to do” tasks and performing the tasks listed during the week without getting caught in the spiral of the emergency.