Getting to the Root of the Problem

If there is a problem, get to the root of the problem and solve it. For every problem, there is usually a direct problem and a root of the problem.

A Simple Story

If there are ants eating away at the roots of your tree, you can kill every ant in sight, but your tree will still get weaker everyday.

Why? Because at the root of your problem, is the queen ant and not the ants themselves. If she is not exterminated, your problem will never go away.


Some decisions are hard to make, and may even make you seem cold blooded, but if it is for a greater good, these decisions have to be made.

Solving the direct problem, the one that you can see straightaway, would not kill the source of the problem. Its the same as killing the ants hiding in the tree. You can kill many of them, but they will just keep coming back. The root of the problem is the problem to solve.

Some Examples

Have employees who does not come on time? Fine them, get angry with them? Is that getting to the root of the problem or the best way to face it? Why are they coming late? Are they lazy, burnt out or is there more to it?

Employees requesting for Pay Increments? Reject them or exchange conditions with them? What is the root of the problem? Why are people asking for pay increments in the first place? Are they long-time employees or new employees? Is there a problem with the salary structure?

People are leaving the company? Let them leave? What made them leave?


Many a times, the root of the problem is hidden behind an angry or an unaware mind. But usually, to solve the problems, just sit down, analyze, find, face and solve the problem.

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