Patching the Potholes



patching the potholes

photo credit: MSVG

Potholes, the holes in the road that you see coming and think you are going to miss but yet some how your tires find them. You see all the people in front of you hit it and are convinced that you will have the proper angle and grip that will ensure that you will not become victim to this crater in the road. After you hit it and feel your car violently being engulfed and then your body bounce around you look back grumbling trying to catch a glimpse of this hole in the road to be sure it was bigger than you thought that the driver behind you also became victim.

Creating the Potholes

Potholes are caused from those little cracks in the asphalt that lead to snow and rain permeating the dirt and gravel that lies underneath the asphalt. We have all seen the a road being repaved and the tearing up of the asphalt, to the smoothing out of the dirt which then leads to the new asphalt being laid. It is so smooth and seems so stable until the first signs of Spring when the road gives way and they start appearing faster than the pimples on a teenager’s face. The desert does not have many potholes due to the lack of rain and snow however we are gifted with divots in the road that sink your car down a few inches. The divots will not slash your tire and leave you stranded on the side of the road with a trip to the tire store in your future. They just slow you down and make you a bit more cautious; well really serve as a reminder to not drive in that lane.

Identifying the Potholes

In business, we all have the cracks, divots and even potholes that arise. We move along in the hustle and bustle of each day, trying to stay connected with people, create brilliant articles that put us on the map and look for new ways to use the tools that are flashed before our eyes. There are things that slip. We run out of time for that email, phone call or focus on other things which leads to cracks. These cracks, when overlooked and/or ignored, continue to grow as things start to seep into them. How do we stop these cracks before they start to give way to potholes? Identifying them as once the cracks start to permeate the core, the pothole will appear. Are we always able to see the cracks starting or does it take someone from the outside to point them out? We cannot start to fix something that we are not aware of and too many times by the time someone points it out, it starts to snowball and before we know it, we have a full blown pothole the size of Texas! What did we miss? We missed slowing down and reviewing our practices, procedures, our means of measurement and monitoring the feedback. The need for growth starts to surpass the sustaining of what is right under our noses.

Patching the Potholes

We patch the potholes once we are aware of them and make the adjustments necessary right before the eyes of everyone who is watching. We have seen some of the most sensational disasters born on Twitter that were handled quickly and professionally as well as the deleting of tweets as if they never happened. These are on a broader scale but, while we think our cracks are going unnoticed, we quickly learn that not much goes unnoticed these days. Our mistakes tend to get noticed more often than our successes. Patching the potholes, after identifying them, starts with admitting there is a problem or situation that needs to be addressed. While we do always try and be proactive as opposed to reactive, we solve problems by standing up and employing the necessary resources to fix our errs.

We know when we drive into a pothole every day we yearn for the day that we see the steamroller pulling up as we know the pothole will be patched up. Despite knowing that the road will not ever be completely smooth until it is completely torn up and resurfaced, we, nonetheless, are satisfied. Sometimes the mere fact that we are addressing it and taking the steps to patch the potholes, even if some cracks will still be present, we have shown that are aware but also care and are willing to focus on change. It is too easy to quietly send out the crew in the middle of the night when no-one is watching to start to patch things up however, this is not always welcomed. Customers/clients want the problem solved with some sort of acknowledgment that one was present. Our silence by trying to brush it under the carpet only leads to critics becoming much more vocal and new and deeper potholes forming.

Have you patched up your potholes or are you still showing the first signs of spring?