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The first step in problem-solving: Diagnosis

The first step in problem-solving: Diagnosis

A 1970 Apollo 13 astronaut coined the now-famous saying for the ground crew: Okay, Houston ... we've had a problem here.

The historic phrase - followed by a detailed analysis and ingenious time-saving solution - still highlights an eternal truth: if there's a problem, we first say so, then find a way to fix it. From this perspective, the difference between NASA at the time and an ordinary company in Hungary is not a world of difference, and in fact, diagnosing company problems is a good starting point on the road to a solution. 

In this article, we briefly describe the most common corporate problems and provide a link to a more detailed explanation of each one.

Organisational problems

Leaders are key players in management. They have a particularly important role to play when there are crucial changes in the company - for example, a merger with an organisation that operates in a completely different way.

One of Interim Ltd.’s assignments, for example, started as gap management only, but the mounting problems that surfaced, the stormy turnover of staff in both companies, and the emergency caused by the departure of senior management, came as an avalanche on both companies. 

The organisational problems resulting from the integration called for an excellent interim manager. The results and lessons learned can be found here.

Productivity problem

When a foreign company brings its production to Hungary, it is always a triumph in the economic news. So did an American company - but it had to ask for our help.

What went wrong? The previous production data, not yet from Hungary, showed an efficiency rate of 80%, while in Hungary it was less than 60%. This problem was solved by our interim manager, who identified a series of personnel, organisational and logistical errors in a short time. For more details on the story that ended with a happy ending in all respects, click here. 

Communication problems

No organisation can operate successfully without smooth, effective communication. Communication is therefore a discipline that every manager should study and learn. It plays an indispensable role in strategic decision-making.

Fortunately, there is a wealth of professional help in the form of techniques, smarts, and self-help guides that are easily accessible and provide a logical introduction to the mysteries of communication, with many examples.

The first big lesson: good questions - good answers. In this blog post, we look for the right techniques.

Change management issues

What connects the pre-Socratic philosopher Heracleitus of Ephesus, who lived in the 6th-5th centuries BC, with a business leader in 2024?

Understanding change

If it wasn't clear until 2020, from then on we've had a clear lesson through pandemics, supply chain disruption, energy crises, and geopolitical events: we live in rapidly changing times. Slow to respond and adapt inefficiently to these changes is a crisis - and we have blogged about how interim management can be a response and a solution.

When the problem is a lack of properly articulated goals

One of the prerequisites for a successful corporate strategy is to have well-defined expectations in terms of objectives. In our data-driven and number-driven world, this means primarily the role of KPIs, but increasingly the concept of OKR (Objectives and Key Results) is being used. This newer three-letter acronym is an excellent tool for translating corporate vision and mission into an operational plan. But what is the difference between KPI and OKR? When to use one and when to use the other? Find out in our article: OKRs and KPIs: tracking corporate progress

Problems instead of growth

New order, expansion - success, money, glamour? Sometimes only on the big screen...

A client contacted us because what seemed like a blessing one moment - a new, high-value order - had become a curse the next. There are situations when everything seems to be working, but in practice, nothing works neither the factory nor the people. Our interim manager had to step in to quickly diagnose the problems and provide solutions. Read our article to find out what happened next: From great opportunity to crisis

Workforce problems

A perennial and ever-changing question for all companies: how many people should they employ? When to hire new people, when is it time to lay off, and how to implement a staffing freeze in your company?

Workforce management - especially in such turbulent times - requires careful planning and deliberate action, while putting a lot of pressure on the HR department. In our blog article, we have explored the key issues involved in Workforce management: the dynamics of staff turnover

Crisis management problem

A year before March 2020, who could have predicted the coming years and their impact on the global economy?

This is the case with all crises: unless there is a sudden, external shock that overturns plans, it is protracted, slow, unnoticed internal processes that contribute to the crisis.

Fortunately, crisis management is a classic area where our interim managers have a wealth of experience in turning the course of events into a positive one.

For more information on crisis management and Interim's case studies, click here: Crisis management: real examples from Interim's portfolio

This short list gives an idea of what can be behind a company's stagnation or crisis. That is why Interim Ltd. always starts with diagnostics to provide its clients with an effective solution through its proven interim management service, which has been in place for more than two decades.

 

Previous posts

Change management: who is responsible and what is the role of interim managers?
Rethinking the business model: a continuous must for CEOs
Improving communication: the power of good leadership questions
The world of interim managers: the INIMA Annual Survey2024
Corporate Crisis Management
OKRs and KPIs: tracking corporate progress
Workforce management: the dynamics of staff turnover
Interim manager only from an intermediary!
How are well-being and interim manager related?
Temporary agency work: is it the employment of the future?