Fit Solutions To Problems

Since the 1970’s, a management concept known as Contingency
Theory has been making the rounds. 

Contingency Theory, in its simplest form, holds that the
solution should fit the problem.  Additionally, this
theory suggests that because problems tend to be specific
to functional areas and companies, the solutions should
not be forced through the cookie-cutter approaches of the
latest management programs.

HR CONTRARIAN POINTER: When it comes to management issues
regarding sales, human resources, marketing, operations,
etc., very seldom is there one best way to solve a

The reason that there is seldom one best solution is due
to the fact that organizations work and compete in
different environments with different resources such as
employees, culture, competitors, machinery, etc.  Why then
would anyone have the arrogance to think that there is one
best way?

A classic example of “there is seldom one best way” is the
list of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software
failures.  With the purchase of an ERP system, a company
is purchasing a set of best practices and trying to mold
an organization to the software, rather than making the
ERP system fit the way the company does business.

One of the marketing gurus I’m fond of quoting, Dan
Kennedy, often says, “Good is good enough.”  In
business, we don’t have time for perfection.  If you have
found a solution to a problem that you consider
acceptable, then implement it and work through the issues
rather than waiting until its perfect, which it will never

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