Bob’s technical skills earned him a promotion. Unfortunately, his problem solving skills were sadly lacking. His inability to watch for and deal with looming issues resulted in minor problems becoming hair-on-fire emergencies.
Taking care of issues before they become difficult and expensive saves wear and tear on people and organizations.
The best approach to forestalling problems before they become emergencies is to build a little extra time (and money) into every day to evaluate your organization. You’ll have the resources to resolve problems while they’re still small. Waiting until a problem is a screaming emergency usually means redirecting valuable limited resources to get back on track.
In the words of Set Godin, “Action is almost always cheaper now than it is later.”
Remember the movie Moneyball? Here’s an excerpt on how they learned to think differently about the problems they faced.