Stop Fighting Fires

Organizations of all types experience a condition commonly referred to as fire-fighting.  While companies with complex manufacturing processes are most prone to this fire-fighting, my experience is that virtually all organizations experience the problems outlined in the Harvard Business Review article “Stop Fighting Fires” by Roger Bohn.

Consider whether your organization experiences the following symptoms of fire-fighting:

  • No time to solve all the problems
  • Solutions are incomplete
  • Problems recur and cascade
  • Urgency supersedes importance
  • Many problems become crises
  • Performance degrades


If you’ve experienced some of these, you’ll want to examine this Harvard Business Review article as the author describes the causes of fire-fighting and offers tactical, strategic and cultural methods for eliminating unproductive and wasteful activities.

What about your company?  Do you experience severe fire-fighting?  What causes it at your company?


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