Presentation on theme: "Shifting The Burden. An underlying problem generates symptoms that demand attention. But the underlying problem is difficult for people to address, either."— Presentation transcript:
Shifting The Burden
An underlying problem generates symptoms that demand attention. But the underlying problem is difficult for people to address, either because it is obscure or costly to confront. So people “shift the burden” of their problem to other solutions – well – intentioned, easy fixes which seem extremely efficient. Unfortunately, the easier “solutions” only ameliorate the symptoms; they leave the underlying problem unaltered. The underlying problem grows worse, unnoticed because the symptoms apparently clear up, and the system loses whatever abilities it had to solve the underlying problem.
Management principle Beware of symptomatic solutions. Solutions that address only the symptoms of a problem, not fundamental causes, tend to have short- term benefits at best. In the long term, the problem resurfaces and there is increased pressure for symptomatic response. Meanwhile, the capability for fundamental solutions can atrophy.
Variations Shift the Burden to the Intervener Eroding Goals
Where is it found? - Personal The problem: Stress from work, family, school, community Fundamental solution: reduce commitments or turn down extra responsibilities. Shift the burden solution: start drinking to temporarily relieve the stress. Can create feedback loop that leads to addiction. It doesn’t solve the root cause of the stress.
Where is it found? - Business The problem: Preparing subordinates for more responsibility Fundamental solution: Delegate work to subordinates Shift the burden solution: Delegate the work but step in to “handle things” at the first sign of difficulty. Could this apply to parenting too?
Where is it found? - Government The problem: Any problem in society Fundamental Solution: Review cause of problem and solve the problem Shift the Burden Solution: Make new laws and regulations
The Structure The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization by Peter M. Senge (Mar 21, 2006) - Deckle Edge
Laws and Regulations Pierce College Civility Policy Syllabus Criminal Law Business Law Environmental Law Health Care Law What is needed, what isn’t needed?
Achieving High Leverage 1. Identify the fundamental problem 2. Identify the symptomatic solution that is being used (alcohol, welfare) and acknowledge it. 3. Be willing to commit the necessary time and resources to strengthening the fundamental solution. 4. When symptomatic solutions must be used (medicine for treating disease caused by smoking, lack of exercise, etc), acknowledge them for what they are and combine them with strategies for rehabilitating the capacity for fundamental solution.