You’re a small business owner seeking a separation or a divorce. You’ve got a ton on your plate and a lot on your mind. You need to figure out what’s truly important to focus on. What projects will most likely lead to the swift, simple and ethical resolution to your crisis?
This question may seem quite challenging. How can you choose? Here’s one tool that you may find useful. The strategy goes by many names, including “root cause analysis” and “the five whys.” The concept is pretty simple. Take a problem in your business (or your relationship), and ask why it’s occurring. Next, ask why that secondary problem is occurring. Iterate this process until you come upon a more fundamental “root” cause. Then address that cause. Doing so should solve not only your initial problem but also several other related problems.
Root Cause Analysis – Example
Let’s say your spouse is a co-owner of your business. That’s a problem. What should you do about it? A root cause analysis might proceed along the following lines:
- Why is this a problem? Because I’m afraid that he’ll disrupt or destroy the business out of spite?
- Why do I fear this outcome? Because he has been jealous of my entrepreneurial success, and he doesn’t want to see me succeed.
- Why doesn’t he want me to succeed? Probably because he has been unable to make his own career work.
- And what’s the cause of that? Probably because he has been allowed to be dependent on me for so many years.
- And what’s the root cause of that? I permitted him, because I felt bad and didn’t want to see him struggling so much.
- And what’s the root cause of that? Because I tend to be a pushover.
This probing, iterative exercise leads to a key personal revelation. The entrepreneur recognizes her tendency to be a “pushover.” She can then deal with that by, for instance, surrounding herself with people who will push aggressively for her interests and protect her business needs.
To get clarity about what you need to do as a small business owner going through divorce, call the Toussaint Law Firm, PC today or email to set up a free consultation.