3 Ways to Problem-Solve Without Spending All Your Money

Hilary Corna
4 min readAug 9, 2022

When it comes to addressing process problems, people love spending money because it makes them feel like they are doing something valuable. Here’s a classic example:

Adding someone new to your team to solve a process problem. Getting a new staff member makes organizations feel great about themselves. If they can afford it, why not, right? It’s easy to add a body, but this solution never works. It only makes the existing problems worse.

There are always ways for companies to improve processes without spending more money. On average, the cost of hiring a new employee alone is $4,000 and 24 days, based on Glassdoor’s 2019 study. Why spend money when you can get results with a more effective solution?

Instead of adding someone new to try and solve the problems at hand, here are three core principles every leader should keep in mind when solving a process problem:

1. Solve problems at their core.

People are prone to react and rush into potential solutions, which is why fire drills in the workplace are becoming a norm. It’s a huge waste of resources, talent, energy and money.

What every company must do is spend more time upfront to understand each problem. It is only when you identify the root cause of a problem that you can find a solution that actually sticks. This saves you time and effort from doing more work on the back end.

Even if you add another person to your team, if most of your people have no clear understanding of what they are supposed to be doing or how they contribute to the team as a whole, your processes will remain inefficient and issues will remain unsolved.

With all the dealerships I’ve worked with at Toyota, the number one root cause of all process problems always comes down to the same thing: people not knowing what they’re supposed to do or how they were supposed to do it.

Before adding someone new to your team, evaluate the entire situation. The addition of a team member as a solution might only turn into another problem, creating more inefficiency down the road.

2. It’s not what you change: It’s how you change.

Hilary Corna

CEO | Founder of The Human Way | Bestselling Author | New book #UNprofessional out 9/21 | Host of the UNprofessional podcast | As seen in Forbes, Fortune, WSJ