(Time to read this Blog is about 2 minutes)

Before we get to the main topic, here are a few things to get you thinking…or smiling:

  1. My biz quote of the week:
    “All businesses sell stuff…great businesses are on a mission to improve the human condition in some significant way.”  What important mission are you on? …Donald Cooper  
  1. Just when you thought you’d heard enough about ‘sourdough’! The Sourdough Inn is a ‘hotel’ where busy Brooklyn hipsters can safely leave their sourdough starter to be fed and cared for when they’re too busy to do it themselves.  OMG! 
  2. The Coca-Cola Company has 400 brands, globally. 200 of those brands, in total, account for just 2% of the company’s global sales.  So, the question for your business is, “What products or services are taking time and space but not contributing to your bottom line?”   What do you need to let go of and when will you do it?  
  3. Cooper goes Virtual! Donald’s bottom-line business insights now available via Zoom!   We’re receiving many requests for my high-value Virtual Programs, especially the programs that include follow-up 1-on-1 telephone Biz Coaching.   To access our 2-page Info Sheet on this extraordinary possibility, Click Here.  

Now, to this week’s important topic:

Are you asking the right question when something goes wrong in your business?

When something goes wrong in your business or department, do you immediately ask the wrong question?  Do you ask the easy question that’s designed to lay blame but almost never fixes the problem or prevents it from happening again?  That question is, “Who screwed up?”  

A much more useful question would be, “What went wrong here and what must we fix or do differently so it doesn’t happen again?”  Digging in to find the real cause of the problem and then improving the training, communication, system or process required to fix it properly requires more effort, but it’s almost always the right way to go. 

Certainly, you’ll have situations where the right training, communication and process were in place and something still went wrong.  In this case, there are two possibilities….

  1. Simple human error or accidental circumstance caused things to go wrong. “Stuff happens”…get over it and move on. If you over-react in these situations, you run the risk of paralyzing your staff with fear of taking any action at all. 
  2. The second possibility is that you have an employee, or group of employees, who simply don’t give a damn or, even worse, are actively trying to hurt or embarrass the company for some reason. They’re toxic ‘bad apples’. Invite them to move on before they do any more damage.

So, except for the genuinely ‘bad apples’ that you need to deal with, stop playing the ‘blame game’ when something goes wrong.  Ask the right question and, through it, empower your staff to help you fix what needs fixing. You’ll be amazed at the results!


That’s it for this week…

Stay safe…live brilliantly…and do at least 3 important or kind things each day!       

Donald Cooper 


Donald Cooper speaks and coaches internationally on management, marketing, and business innovation.  He can be reached by email at donald@donaldcooper.com in Toronto, Canada.

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