Werewolves Aren’t Real
I’m a history nerd and I will admit that the history behind werewolf legends is fascinating. Hollywood has added the idea that the best way to kill a werewolf is to shoot him or her with a silver bullet. But being fun and interesting doesn’t change the fact that werewolves don’t exist.
Why is this relevant to a business strategy blog?
Metaphorically, silver bullets refer to magically good or easy solutions or fixes to difficult problems and it is easy to see why we want them. A silver bullet solution, or hack, offers an easy or effortless fix. Unfortunately, in real life they also typically require more effort, if they are going to work, or they don’t work as well as creating an informed plan or system and following through with it.
Instead of focusing on easy, quick fixes, you need to focus on fixes that will actually work. Quick hacks aren’t shortcuts to success. They often keep you busy and overwhelmed without really solving your problems. Worse, they can keep you focused on fixing things that are not the cause of your problems.
One of the best ways to do this is to identify what the problems actually are and to create trackable systems and plans. For instance, if you are having a problem shipping your products in a reasonable time you need to look at why you are having the problem rather than jumping to conclusions.
- Are you running out of inventory?
- Are you not being notified of orders?
- Is there a problem with your system for packing and shipping your products?
- Are you not budgeting enough time for packaging and shipping orders?
The solutions to these problems are all different. A quick silver bullet hack to improve shipping problems won’t fix your shipping problem if it addresses the wrong cause. It might result in some improvement, but you will still have the underlying problem. This is why it is better to take an honest look at what is actually causing your shipping problem. If you can go to the root cause of your shipping problem, you can focus your resources on finding the right solution.
Once you have been honest with yourself, and allowed your employees to be honest with you, you can create a system that fixes the problem. Your system might not be perfect immediately, but as you implement it you can adjust it based on your observations.
Creating systems isn’t always easy, but in the end a lot of the hacks, shortcuts and silver bullets out there require a lot more effort than they appear to. Rather than chasing after quick fixes, diagnose what your actual problem is and chose the solution that fixes it. You’ll usually save time in the long run.